Economic growth during 2017 was negatively affected by a combination of a drought, low export prices and a slowdown in construction activities following the completion of large infrastructure projects in 2016. However, GDP growth of 5.2% was reached and good climatic conditions are expected to contribute to growth of at least 6.5% for 2018, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicting growth of 7.2%. Although the IMF expects a rise in tax revenue, international donor funds are still important as they accounted for 17% of the country’s 2017/18 budget.
More than 70% of Rwandans are farmers who grow crops such as maize and vegetables for local use and tea and coffee for the export market. The government is keen on developing value addition in the agricultural sector, thus creating much-needed jobs in agro-processing. The recovery of commodity prices and increased global demand resulted in the value of mineral exports growing 210% to US$248.5m in 2017 compared to US$80.1m the previous year. An increase in revenue from tourism is also expected. Currently the tourism industry contributes 12.7% to the country’s GDP, supporting 132,000 jobs.