Rwanda economy can do better- experts

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Professor Thomas Kigabo, Rwanda’s Chief economist gives remarks alongside PEGNet research experts.

Professor Thomas Kigabo, Rwanda’s Chief economist gives remarks alongside PEGNet research experts.

Researchers and economic experts have said that the Rwandan economy can perform better if the country comes up with a model that is based on sustainability of the five major sectors that have propelled economic growth.

According to Professor Manfred Wiebelt, the director of Poverty Reduction, Equity and Growth Network (PEGNet), Rwanda should focus on making the construction, hospitality, transport, education, service sector sustainable if it’s to continue growing.

“Rwanda is a success story and the country has more than 8% of average annual growth from 1999-2012 and the growth is not related to natural resources booming” Wiebelt said during a public lecture on what determines economic growth in Africa and Rwanda,  organized by Rwanda Economic Policy Research Network (EPRN), this February 24, 2016.

Professor Manfred Wiebelt

Professor Manfred Wiebelt

Wiebelt also said that though Rwanda is doing well, it has to move away from investment depending of foreign capital and in order to remain in the regional competition, but advised on Rwanda coming up with economic models that can be sustainable according to the economic path taken so far.

Professor Thomas Kigabo, a government Chief economist and Chairman of EPRN said that while Rwanda and some African countries doesn’t have many natural resources but still perform better than those endowed with natural resources, poses a question to the research fraternity today.

“We should engage the young generation of researches to do a profound research on why countries with natural resources are not performing as those with fewer natural resources. May be there is a new trend that we should be looking at in terms of economic models.” Kigabo said.

In a related development, PEGNet- a research based organization is planning to move to Rwanda and work with other research and policy institutions to strengthen this domain.

The move to Rwanda will be preceded by an upcoming two day conference in Kigali city in September 2016, which will be opened by Rwanda’s Finance Minister, Ambassador Claver Gatete.

According to Prof. Wiebelt the conference will also have an award ceremony for the best global research papers in the countries where PEGNet operates, but there could be a chance for Rwandans to participate.

“The competition is stiff, we urge young researchers to submit their papers and judges will decide; and it would be good for Rwandans to participate” Wiebelt said.

Prof. Kigabo said that Rwandan researchers have come of age and there is a young generation of researchers such as Micheal Munyaneza, who have done at least three great research papers and could be potential candidates in the competition.

It will be good to see some of our young researchers showcase their works. We know it is a tight competition but we believe they can be competitive too” Kigabo said.


About the author

Olive Ndaka is the Junior Editor for RwandaEye. An investor and young entrepreneur, she is a quick learner and has contributed many articles for RwandaEye in Kinyarwanda.

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