ADB lauds macroeconomic performance, but urges structural reform

The African Development Bank (ADB) has hailed Rwanda's recent macroeconomic performance, but called for more rapid implementation of structural reforms, especially in the domains of public enterprise privatisation and the budget, the bank reported on Thursday.

It also warned that poverty remained a concern, as it affected nearly 60 percent of the population, and that infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria were gaining ground in the country.

The evaluation followed a September review by ADB's board of directors.

The directors said they "appreciated the good macroeconomic performance recorded in the past five years by Rwanda as reflected in the growth and inflation rates of 7.7 percent and 3 percent on yearly average, respectively". However, they noted that the country's budget deficit, which ranged from 8.3 percent to 11 percent of GDP over the period, remained high.

The directors also "noted with satisfaction the adoption of a new constitution establishing the principle of power-sharing and creating independent institutions in charge of addressing the country's major problems".

In view of the Rwanda's high population density and pressure, they urged Kigali to intensify the full exploitation of the country's potential in agriculture and rural development, as well as to strengthen land reforms so as to increase productivity and fight poverty more effectively.

They also called on the government to persevere on the path of subregional peace so as to establish an enabling environment for national and foreign private investment.