Rwanda increases budget for 2017/18 by 7 pct

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Rwanda plans to increase government spending during the 2017/18 fiscal year by seven percent, the country’s finance minister announced on Thursday.

Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Claver Gatete, presented the national budget for the coming fiscal year in front of parliament yesterday, outlining a $2.58 billion budget with less reliance on external donors.

 

Rwanda targets self-sufficiency

“The government’s objective is to reduce the reliance on external donor support, especially where grants are concerned. However, for the time being, this support remains vital for our development,” Gatete told parliament.

He said 17 percent of the increased budget will be funded by external donors while the rest will come from internal revenue and borrowing – including $430 million borrowed from outside Rwanda.

 

Infrastructure and local products prioritised

Gatete also revealed the focus of Rwanda’s budget in the coming financial year will be infrastructure and the production of local products.

“Economic plans enshrined in 2017/2018 budget will focus more on promoting investments in infrastructure growth and promotion of locally made products,” he said. “Increased investments in infrastructure and made in Rwanda products will accelerate our country’s goal to reach middle-income status.”

The finance minister singled out the Bugesera International Airport and Kamembe Airport as priorities, as well as improving the country’s road network. Meanwhile, Rwanda will be investing to diversify its exports and promoting locally made products with a growth target of 25 percent, according to the Gatete.

Rwanda’s economy is projected to grow by 6.2 percent in 2017 and 6.8 percent in 2018 – up from 5.9 percent in 2016. The country is aiming to double its current rate of GDP growth (5.4 percent) to reach the upper middle-income status by 2035.

 

Featured image: By Igobruce – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48133338

 

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.