News Archive February 2017

How should the UK trade with developing countries after Brexit?

In a previous blog, Traidcraft presented their views on how the UK should trade with the world post-Brexit. Now that it is clear that the UK is going to be leaving the Customs Union, it is important that the government makes a clear trade offer to the world’s poorest countries that supports their economic development.

In her big Brexit speech in January, Theresa May revealed her plans to take the UK out of the EU Customs Union, meaning that we will now be in control of our own trade policy and able to directly negotiate trade deals with other nations. In doing so, she used the language of fairness and respect: “a great, global trading nation that is respected around the world… we will take this opportunity to make Britain stronger, to make Britain fairer, and to build a more Global Britain too.”[1]

In pursuit of new trade deals, the government has been talking to Australia, China, India, the Gulf States, New Zealand and South Korea. However, it’s unclear what plans are in place for our developing country trading partners. If the government takes us out of the Customs Union without any alternative arrangements, our trading relationships with the world’s poorest nations will be governed by ‘WTO rules’. This will mean goods produced by farmers, workers and businesses in those countries will face new tariffs amounting to £1 billion. This would be disastrous for vulnerable groups around the world, and would expose the Prime Minister’s vision of a great and well-respected trading nation as empty rhetoric.

Traidcraft have put together a paper that looks at the options for the UK’s trading relationship with developing countries and offers a clear recommendation for how we can ensure that Brexit does not undermine global development.

In this blog, we will deal what on the surface looks like the most politically attractive option (continuing existing EU treaties) and present our suggested alternative – a non-reciprocal market access scheme.

Why not replicate or ‘roll over’ existing EU treaties?

Rather than negotiate new deals with developing countries, why not simply retain the arrangements that we had as a member of the EU? This sounds like it would be the simpler choice, and that it would be less disruptive for our trading partners. However, there are a couple of major problems with such an approach:

  • It really wouldn’t be that simple

The current EU’s trade agreements with developing countries are far from simple, constituting Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), some of which are Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), and which are at varying stages of completion (many are not ratified, some are with individual countries pending wider regional agreement).  Replicating these arrangements post-Brexit would require the agreement of all other parties. These negotiations could be difficult and in theory they couldn’t even start until we have officially left the EU, whilst adding the UK as a ‘party’ to existing EU agreements is probably not possible at all now that it is clear we will be leaving the Customs Union. Furthermore, the UK has less to offer than the EU – the world’s largest trading bloc – and so we must expect that other countries would try to improve the terms as they currently stand.

Far from being the easy option, attempting to ‘roll over’ some of these deals is likely to divert negotiating resource away from the UK’s priority countries and is fraught with legal and political complexity which could leave developing countries in a damaging trade limbo.

  • We would miss a valuable opportunity to improve the status quo

The EU’s approach of seeking to strike reciprocal FTAs (including EPAs) with some of the world’s poorest countries has been controversial from the start. FTAs require developing countries to open their economies to an extent that many view as potentially very damaging, especially for the poorest. Other criticisms include the EU’s insistence on including a promise to negotiate to liberalise investment policy and public procurement rules in the future, and the effect the negotiation process has had on regional integration For the latest position on the EU-East African EPA see the work of SEATINI, or for more general critique of EPAs see the South Centre.

The EU’s approach was designed at the height of support for unfettered globalisation and has been strongly resisted – particularly in regions made up of predominantly of poorer countries. There is now widespread recognition, including from our Prime Minister, that “the forces of liberalism and globalisation which have held sway in Britain, America and across the Western world for years have left too many people behind”[2] and that there needs to be more active management to respond to the deeply felt concerns of individuals at home and abroad. With Brexit the UK can now take a lead in demonstrating that fairer approach.

The alternative: a non-reciprocal market access scheme

Most developed countries outside the EU offer preference schemes to developing economies, rather than seeking FTAs.

Traidcraft supports a non-reciprocal market access scheme, an arrangement that is simple to implement, provides stability for people in developing countries, and is being talked about by everyone from the ODI to the Commonwealth Secretariat and the African Union.

This means that the UK would allow goods from developing countries to enter the UK market without obliging trade partners to open up their markets to us in return. Canada, New Zealand, Japan, the United States and Norway all run similar schemes, which are compatible with WTO rules.

Offering such a scheme is simple and does not require time-consuming negotiation – crucial when the energies of David Davis and Liam Fox are focussed on striking deals with the EU, the USA, Australia and China. With a preference scheme, market access can be provided to many economically vulnerable countries in one streamlined arrangement.

The UN’s definition of ‘least developed country’ (LDC) includes 49 countries, but a UK scheme can and should go further, offering access to a wider group based on an objective assessment of genuine need and potential. There are different ways that such a group could be formulated. For example, we could build on the UN’s work which pulls landlocked and small island states together with the poorest countries and those with the least diversified economies. Or the scheme could support regional integration by including all the members of a customs union, where most of the members are classed as LDCs.

The point is to ensure a fair and defensible system that is simple to operate, provides generous market access to countries in need and respects ongoing regional integration processes.

The UK is at a historic crossroads in terms of trade policy, and decisions made now have the potential to have a profound effect on both the UK and our trading partners. A market access scheme offered to the most vulnerable countries would make a huge amount of sense for everyone, from exporters worried about the costs of trading with the UK post-Brexit to the UK’s team of trade negotiators anxious to get on with the priority issues of striking a trade deals with the EU and other developed nations.

Liz May is Head of Policy and Advocacy at Traidcraft Exchange, partner charity to fair trade organisation Traidcraft based in the United Kingdom. This article was originally published on the Traidcraft In Depth blog.

» To find out more about their proposal, please read the full ‘Post-Brexit trade’ paper (pdf).


[1] https://www.tralac.org/images/docs/11094/theresa-may-speech-on-brexit-london-17-january-2017.pdf

[2] https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-speech-to-the-lord-mayors-banquet-14-november-2016

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What will it take to improve Rwanda’s trade imbalance?

Rwanda’s trade balance has been deteriorating over the years due to the continued higher import bill compared to export receipts.

The mismatch between imports and exports is mainly due to the continued reliance on low-value export products, whose prices depend on the international market dynamics and the continued excessive demand for foreign produced goods, especially capital and intermediate goods, to sustain the ongoing economic development.

However, increased production initiatives for some categories of imports such as rice, wheat and sugar whose domestic market is growing rapidly and whose contribution to the import bill is high should be reinforced.

This will be a game changer towards reducing the country’s import bill.

Formal imports decreased by 2.7 percent in value, to $2.2 million in 2016 down from $2.3 million in 2015.

The decline in formal imports value is due to a decrease in intermediary goods, which decreased by 16.6 percent and in energy and lubricants that registered a reduction of 15.7 percent.

Formal imports declined to 17.2 percent in volume due to decreasing volume of intermediary goods (unfinished products).

Government’s “Made in Rwanda” initiative seems to be paying off and according to experts, the campaign is key in correcting and balancing Rwanda’s trade books.

There is potential to produce most of the imported commodities locally which could have a huge potential and positive impact on Rwanda’s trade balance, according to experts.

For example, imports of cement, sugar, wheat, rice and second hand clothing exceed coffee and tea exports earnings. If produced locally they are expected to play a key role in narrowing down the country’s trade deficit.

Compared to 2015, Rwanda’s trade deficit narrowed by 5.9 percent in 2016, to $1.6 billion from $1.7 billion

This means the demand for imports decreased marginally driven by a drop in importation of consumer goods.

Many analysts believe the country’s economy will rebound fueled by the increasing commodity prices and increased local production.

The country’s total formal exports value, according to the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) increased by almost 7.1 percent while total imports value recorded a modest decline of 2.7 percent during the same period.

Consequently, formal exports cover improved to 27 percent in 2016 against 24 percent which was recorded in 2015.

This is important for a country that is trying to grow its exports to an annual tune of more than 28 per cent on average.

Experts believe boosting local production while encouraging consumption of locally manufactured goods will boost exports and play a key role in trade balance, thus stabilizing the economy going forward.

The Central Bank governor, John Rwangombwa, says Rwanda’s trade balance improved with export cover of imports improving to 32 percent in 2016 compared to 28 percent in 2015.

This means that earnings from our exports in 2016 could only pay for 32% of all the goods we imported in the same period, compared to 28% in 2015.

More still, the improvement in the trade balance in 2016, does not take away the fact that Rwanda’s import bill continued to outstrip export receipts, exerting pressure on the economy.

“We have observed trade balance in the last three months of 2016 due to a slower decrease especially in traditional exports of almost 5 percent compared to the average decline of 21 percent registered same period in 2015,” Rwangombwa noted adding that the improvement was largely supported by good performance of the non-traditional exports category mainly driven by minerals and re-exports as well as the decline in imports.

Poor performance from formal exports

Meanwhile, the economy could have performed even much better had it not been the poor performance registered by the country’s traditional exports.

Rwanda’s traditional exports including coffee, tea, minerals, pyrethrum as well as hides and skins fetched $219 million in 2016 way below the target and less than $265 million earned in 2015.

The situation could have been much worse had it not been the boost Rwanda got from re-exports.

The country earned more than $224 million (about 37.5 percent of total exports) from re-exports in 2016 compared to $177 million earned in 2015.

Most of the re-exports were destined to Rwanda’s main trading partners including DRC, Burundi and Tanzania.

There are plans to ensure value addition to most re-exported products to make them more worthy before they can be re-exported.

This according to Ministry of Trade and Industry will translate into more revenues which will keep the economy more resilient.

Overall performance

Meanwhile, from Central Bank numbers, one can easily say that total exports recorded good performance in 2016, increasing by 7.1 percent in value ($598 million up from $558 million) in 2015.

In-terms of volumes, the sector registered a commendable increase of almost 19.3 percent driven by positive performance of non- traditional exports.

However, the sector suffered a setback due to a decline in coffee, tea and mineral exports.

For instance, coffee exports decreased in value by almost 5.7 percent from $62 million in 2015 to $58 million in 2016.

The decrease was mainly attributed to decline in coffee unit price of 4.9 percent, from $3.30/kg to $3.14/kg.

The sector registered a decline in volumes with a slight decline of almost 0.8 percent, from 18,793 tons in 2015 to 18,638 tonnes in 2016.

Equally, tea exports decreased in value by more than 12.5 percent, from $72.46 million in 2015 to $63.42 million in 2016.

This decrease was due to the decline in both the unit price and volume, as the former decreased by 11.5 percent from 2.94 $/kg in 2015 to $2.60 /kg in 2016 and the latter decreased by 1.1 percent, from 24,677 tons in 2015 to 24,415 tons in 2016.

Farmers say this affected profitability and ultimately house hold incomes.

Theopista Nyiramahoro, the Rwanda Coffee Federation chairperson, said performance was bad but is hopeful things will get better in 2017.

The governor has already reassured the public about economic improvements this year.

Last week, the central bank projected improvements in commodity prices and positive agriculture and export performance which will give a boost to the country’s economic growth in 2017.

Counting on the mining industry

Despite registering poor performance due to the fall in international commodity prices, experts believe the industry will bounce back in 2017 with improvements that will boost export revenues going forward.

This is important because the exported value of the main minerals including Coltan, Cassiterite and Wolfram declined from $117.81 million recorded in 2015 to $86.42 million in 2016.

Despite this poor performance, miners like David Bensusan, the Chief Executive of Mineral Supply Africa (MSA), is optimistic the sector will bounce back on account of rising prices in global markets.

He is however worried on how the Trump presidency in the US and Brexit in Europe will affect the sector.

“We have various agreements with companies in the US, but from the rhetoric we are hearing from the United States, no one can exactly tell how things will turn out, he said.

Andre Musabyimana, the president of a mining cooperative in Cyato sector in Nyamasheke district, says, they are counting on bankers to increase credit to the sector to help make it profitable this year.

Last week, Dr Diane Karusisi, the Bank of Kigali, chief executive, tasked fellow bankers to support the sector on optimism that prices were set to bounce back.

Karusisi expects banks to double support for exporters, especially in the mining industry, to help keep the trend positive.

In 2015, government launched the export growth facility fund as part of the strategy to boost exports and narrow down the widening trade deficit gap.

The aim according to Alex Kanyankole, the Development Bank of Rwanda chief executive,was to channel more than Rwf1 billion, through the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD), to facilitate exporters especially through SMEs .

With the fund in place, exporters are expected to access the funds at about 8 per cent interest per annum, covering at least 50 per cent of the cost exporters incur as they try to seek new markets abroad.

However Kanyankole says it will take more than the fund to address the challenges exporters face.

He says increasing access to finance alone will not help unless stakeholders worked together to address other challenges.

Export targets by NAEB

The National Agriculture Exports Board (NAEB) is projecting to fetch more revenues from tea exports, from $65 million (about Rwf44.2b) to $147 million (about Rwf100b) by 2017, while coffee export earnings are expected to more than double from $73 million to $157 million during the same period.

This will however require concerted efforts including facilities like the Export Fund.

Government also plans to enhance honey, handcrafts and horticulture production and exports as part of the new strategy. Lack of access to affordable credit is only part of the problem, according to business analysts. The country’s export industry is still struggling with challenges, including, limited market, high taxes, poor export infrastructure and lack of skilled manpower.


Monetary Policy and Financial Stability Statement – 22 February 2017

Executive Summary

The world economic growth decelerated from 3.2 percent in 2015 to 3.1 percent in 2016 but is projected to improve to 3.4 percent by end 2017. Advanced economies grew moderately by 1.6 percent from 2.1 percent in 2015, reflecting lower than expected US economic growth in the first semester, a slowdown in Japanese economic growth and the expected effect of the Brexit on European economy. They are expected to grow by 1.9 percent by end 2017 as both advanced, emerging and developing economies are anticipated to improve.

Overall, growth in emerging and developing economies stabilized at 4.1 percent in 2016, the same level as in 2015, supported by high growth in emerging Asia while economic activity was subdued in commodity exporting countries. Growth in emerging and developing countries is estimated to improve to 4.5 percent in 2017 reflecting a recovery in previously distressed large economies.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, economic growth dropped to 1.6 percent in 2016 from 3.4 percent in 2015, particularly affected by lower commodity prices, droughts in South East African countries and the EBOLA disease in Western African countries as well as political tensions in some other countries. Supported by recovering commodity prices, the Sub-Saharan African economy is projected to recover, growing by 2.8 percent by end 2017.

Although still lower compared to the levels of 2015, prices for most industrial commodities are recovering, helped by improving manufacturing activity worldwide, particularly in China. Oil prices are expected to increase, backed mainly by OPEC’s effort to squeeze oil production. Prices are expected to hike for metals and minerals due to supply constraints, including mines closures, while trends are seen to remain mixed for agricultural commodities depending on supply conditions.

Lower commodity prices, together with weaker global demand kept inflation persistently low in advanced economies. In 2016, inflation was 0.7 percent, slightly higher compared to 0.3 percent in 2015. In 2017, helped by recovering energy prices and improving economic activity, inflation is foreseen to increase to 1.7 percent, but still below central banks’ inflation targets, pointing to continuous accommodative monetary policy.

Despite the aforementioned global and regional economic headwinds, the Rwandan economy performed well in the first three quarters of 2016. Real GDP grew by 6.1 percent on average in the first three quarters of 2016, against 6.9 percent recorded in the corresponding period of the previous year. This good performance was mainly driven by the service sector (+7.7 percent from +7.0 percent), with an average contribution of 49.7 percent to the real GDP during the period under review.

Leading indicators of economic activities indicate that the economy will grow by around the initially projected growth of 6.0 percent, from 6.9 percent in 2015. The Composite Index of Economic Activities (CIEA), in real terms, increased by 10.7 percent in 2016 but lower than 13.5 percent registered in 2015, while the total turnovers of industry and services sectors rose by 10.1 percent in 2016, lower than 14.1 percent registered in 2015.

Regarding external sector performance, Rwanda’s trade deficit improved by 5.9 percent in 2016, to USD 1649.7 million from USD 1752.5 million in 2015. Total formal exports value increased by 7.1 percent while total imports value recorded a decline of 2.7 percent during the same period.

Consequently, formal exports cover of imports improved to 27 percent in 2016 against 24 percent recorded in 2015. Despite the observed improvement in the trade balance in 2016, the import bill continued to outstrip export receipts, exerting pressures on the Rwandan francs exchange rate as the FRW depreciated against the USD by 9.7 percent y-o-y in 2016 compared to a depreciation of 7.6 percent in 2015.

In 2016, BNR maintained the KRR at 6.5 percent to ensure that the banking sector continues to finance economic activities while limiting inflationary pressures from the monetary sector. In line with economic activities, total new authorized loans to the private sector increased by 6.3 percent in 2016 compared to 13.7 percent in 2015; total outstanding credit to the private sector expanded by 7.8 percent in 2016, while broad money increased by 7.5 percent.

Headline inflation increased from 4.5 percent in January 2016 to 7.3 percent in December 2016. It went up from an average of 2.5 percent in 2015 to 5.7 percent in 2016, mainly driven by rising food prices and transport costs.

In line with the recovery in commodity prices, export receipts are expected to continue improving. Conversely, the import bill is likely to reduce following the increased domestic production of some products and the government’s “Made in Rwanda” initiative. Consequently, exchange rate pressures are expected to ease, reducing the pass through to inflation, albeit subject to the developments in food inflation.

The improvement in export receipts and the expected performance of economic activities will help to prop up the banking system liquidity, thus increasing the capacity of banks to scale up their lending to the private sector.

The Rwandan financial sector remained sound and stable in the year to end December 2016, despite a challenging macroeconomic environment. Assets and profits of Banks, MFIs, and the pension continued to expand, albeit at a slower pace compared to last year. The slowdown of growth in some key sectors of the economy reduced the lending space for banks and MFIs and increased NPLs. Nevertheless, the sector remains resilient and sound, largely due to strong capital and liquidity buffers held by financial institutions. Capital and liquidity levels of banks, MFIs and several insurance companies remained above the prudential requirements in December 2016.

Improved performance is observed in some insurance companies which were stressed in the early months of 2016 mainly due to unhealthy competition tendencies (price under cutting) and higher management expenses. These companies started recapitalizing in the third quarter of 2016 and their solvency conditions have improved. A number of other insurance companies are expected to recapitalize in 2017, which will strengthen the sector further.

Going forward, the BNR expects that recent reforms established will bolster performance and resiliency of the financial sector. Key reforms like the DGF establishment, the new capital requirements, the Umurenge SACCO automation and consolidation and the new directive on insurance business operations are expected to strengthen performance of the sector.

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What will it take to improve Rwanda’s trade imbalance?

28 Feb 2017
Rwanda’s trade balance has been deteriorating over the years due to the continued higher import bill compared to export receipts. The mismatch between imports and exports is mainly due to the continued reliance on low-value...
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Sustainable African businesses can help unlock US$12 trillion in new market value

Launch of African Better Business, Better World report in Kenya puts African CEOs and entrepreneurs in spotlight as drivers of a sustainable future

African business leaders and entrepreneurs can unlock significant economic opportunities worth US$1 trillion in the region and US$12 trillion globally if they pursue sustainable business models. These opportunities and how to achieve them take centre stage at two events, hosted by Safaricom and Intellecap in Nairobi, to launch the African Better Business, Better World report from the Business and Sustainable Development Commission.

The Business Commission’s global report, first launched in January 2017 ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos, shows how sustainable business models could open economic opportunities across 60 “hot spots” worth up to US$12 trillion and increase employment by up to 380 million jobs by 2030. More than half of the total value of the opportunities are in developing countries. In Africa alone, sustainable business models could open up an economic prize of at least US$1.1 trillion and create over 85 million new jobs by 2030.

“The world is seeing increasingly that African companies are models for what can be achieved with ingenuity and innovation as they solve difficult social challenges. They are not wedded to old solutions, so here in Kenya we see digital innovators delivering banking, energy and health solutions. The speed of innovation and adoption is astonishing,” said Mark Malloch-Brown, chair of the Business and Sustainable Development Commission.

“The Better Business, Better World report launch in Nairobi puts the African private sector squarely in the drivers’ seat on the road to achieving sustainable development, and we welcome more African business leaders to join the Business Commission.”

Hosted by Safaricom, the Better Business, Better World conference, held on 23 February, brings together business leaders to build support for the Sustainable Development Goals (or Global Goals) – 17 objectives to eliminate poverty, improve education and health outcomes, create better jobs and tackle our key environmental challenges by 2030.

The purpose of the conference is to show how the Global Goals provide the private sector with a new growth strategy that opens valuable market opportunities while creating a world that is both sustainable and inclusive. And the potential rewards for doing so are significant.

Kenya’s top mobile network operator, Safaricom has also been a leader in creating innovations that remove obstacles to financial inclusion through its mobile banking platform M-PESA, and increases sustainable energy access through M-KOPA.

“Africa has a real opportunity to lead the way in doing better business for a better world. As a commission we have found that across the continent, there is potential for inclusive, green growth and development which remains untapped,” said Bob Collymore, CEO of Safaricom and member of the Business Commission.

“We stand on the cusp of possibilities and we must seize the opportunity now. As the report shows, there have been in the last few years a demonstration of the possibility of leapfrogging development through new technologies and the Internet to bring development in transformative ways that also promote purpose.”

On 23-24 February, the Sankalp Africa Summit, hosted by Intellecap, highlights the important role African entrepreneurs play in advancing sustainable development on the continent. The Sankalp Forum brings together an audience of more than 1,000 people, including entrepreneurs, investors, corporations, governments and funders to facilitate connections, collective learning and a collaborative approach around sustainable development and inclusive investment.  

A key message of the report is that digital solutions and entrepreneurs will be critical to unlocking many of these new opportunities. Research from the report has identified 32 ‘development’ unicorns with market caps of more than US$1 billion. In Africa entrepreneurs are bringing new solutions to social and environmental problems in remarkable ways, and the opportunities to do so are compelling. One market hot spot, affordable housing, could create over 13 million of these jobs, while risk pooling, the single largest monetary opportunity in Africa, is valued at US$150 billion.

“We need young entrepreneurs to reimagine solutions that would allow business to participate in joining government to solve issues of poverty and hunger that the SDGs seek to address,” said Vineet Rai, founder, Aavishkaar-Intellecap Group and a member of the Business Commission.

“Sankalp Forum and Intellecap are bringing together the best young entrepreneurs from Africa and Asia to find new ideas and solutions that aim to deliver on the ambitious opportunity that the Better Business Better World report outlines as US$12 trillion.”

At the same time, the Commission believes a “new social contract” between business, government and society is essential to defining the role of business in a new, fairer economy. The 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer reinforces this idea. It shows that while CEO credibility is sharply down, 75% of general population respondents agree that “a company can take specific actions that both increase profits and improve the economic and social conditions in the community where it operates.”

And they can do so in ways that align with recommendations and actions outlined in Better Business, Better World: rebuilding trust by creating decent jobs, rewarding workers fairly, investing in the local community and paying a fair share of taxes.

Throughout 2017, the Commission will focus on working with companies to strengthen corporate alignment with the Global Goals, including: mentoring the next generation of sustainable development leaders; creating sectorial roadmaps and league tables that rank corporate performance against the Global Goals; and supporting measures to unlock blended finance for sustainable infrastructure investment.

“We need to show these ideas work not just in a report but on the business frontline,” said Dr. Amy Jadesimi, CEO of LADOL, a Nigerian logistics and infrastructure development company, and a member of the Commission.

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Kagame meets govt officials, AU experts to review progress

Senior government officials, leaders of civil society and the private sector in Rwanda are meeting to discuss government performance.

At the National Leadership Retreat known as Umwiherero, leaders will appear before President Paul Kagame to give an update on his key promises, mainly on the economy, governance, justice, infrastructure, health and education.

Minister in the Office of the President Venantia Tugireyezu said the retreat would dwell on the progress of the country’s Vision 2020, improving service delivery, enhancing citizen’s satisfaction, settlement and urbanisation as well as human capital development.

Unlike the past retreats that lasted only two days, this year’s retreat runs from February 24 to March 2.

“Increasing the days will give us ample time for in-depth discussions and audience participation, because in the past retreats we would go there for two days and before you know it, the days are gone,” said Stella Ford Mugabo, the Minister for Cabinet Affairs.

It is anticipated that the focus will be on evaluating the campaign of promoting locally made products, dubbed “Made in Rwanda” at a time the country is suffering from a depreciating currency and a persistent trade deficit.

A large number of Rwandans rely on agriculture for their survival, but this is one of the sectors that has for the past few years experienced slow development, despite the government’s determination to modernise it.

AU reform team

Meanwhile, on the sidelines of Umwiherero, President Kagame met with his team of experts tasked with driving reforms in the African Union on Sunday.

The experts proposed an end to duplication of roles by various AU organs; the ceding of some roles to regional economic communities; efficient and effective management of the business of the continental body at both the political and operational level; and ensuring that they can be sustainably financed by member states.

The proposals were collated from views gathered from various experts and regional blocs, and contained in a report presented at the 28th AU summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia by President Kagame last month.

“The 28th Summit of the African Union subsequently adopted the amended reform recommendations and mandated President Kagame to supervise the implementation process,” a statement from the Rwandan leader’s office read.

President Kagame is expected to table a report on the implementation progress at the next AU summit in July this year.

Those working with President Kagame on the reforms were Donald Kaberuka, former president of the African Development Bank; Carlos Lopes, former executive secretary of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and Cristina Duarte, former minister for finance and planning of Cape Verde.

Other members were Strive Masiyiwa, executive chair of Econet Wireless; Tito Mboweni, former governor of the South African Reserve Bank; Amina J. Mohammed, Minister for Environment of Nigeria; Mariam Mahamat Nour, Minister for Economy, Planning and International Co-operation of Chad and Vera Songwe, regional director for West and Central Africa at the International Finance Corporation.

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Kagame meets govt officials, AU experts to review progress

28 Feb 2017
Senior government officials, leaders of civil society and the private sector in Rwanda are meeting to discuss government performance. At the National Leadership Retreat known as Umwiherero, leaders will appear before President...
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