Kigali — Rwanda’s exports registered an impressive performance in the first two months of 2013, posting an 18.4% growth in value garnered from an equally improved volume which grew by 24.4%.
The central bank governor, John Rwangombwa remarked that the country’s exports’ performance in the first two months is a sign for a good year ahead. Rwanda’s general exports for the months of January and February generated a total value of $78.6m an improvement from $66.4m posted for the same period in 2012.
Minerals generated the most revenue of $19.9m though it was a slight drop compared to $22.5m earned from the same period last year. Coffee and tea, Rwanda’s main traditional agricultural exports earned $9.1million and $12.0m in the first two months of 2013, indicating an increase for coffee from last year’s earnings of US$3.8m but a slight drop for tea earnings compared to last year’s $12.2m.
Rwanda spent $89.5m on intermediary goods for January and February a slight drop from $89.8m for the same period last year. Governor Rwangombwa revealed that the country’s foreign exchange reserves are well capitalized with enough foreign currency to last at least four and a half months.
Inflation dropped from 5.6% in January 2013 to 4.8% as of end of February. Imported inflation increased from 3.4% in January to 3.7% in February but domestic inflation fell from 6.3% to 5.0%.
Rwangombwa also announced that the banking sector is robust. Between December and February 2013, the banks’ outstanding credit to the private sector increased by 1.6%. The governor announced that the Central Bank Repo rate will be maintained at 7.5% to keep up the current economic activity. On the exchange rate, the Rwanda Franc depreciated by 4.9% as of end of February, on annual basis; having been 4.5% by end of December 2012.
Commenting on the fresh turmoil in the Euro-zone where Cyprus is the latest member to get on the brink of bankruptcy, Rwangombwa said the economy will remain resilient as it has proven to be since the crisis started over two years ago.
“The Euro crisis has been ongoing for the past two years and we don’t expect its new problems to hurt us any further than it has already done, our economy is robust enough to remain resilient,” remarked Rwangombwa.