Rwanda to sell Treasury bonds to boost budget, fund airline expansion

Thursday February 8 2018

Rwanda's Finance Minister Claver Gatete. PHOTO

Rwanda's Finance Minister Claver Gatete. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA | NATION 

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Rwanda’s government said on Wednesday it plans to sell treasury bonds to raise extra cash for its fiscal 2017/18 budget, part of which it will spend on expanding the national airline RwandAir.

Finance Minister Claver Gatete asked parliament to approve an increase of Rwf20.5 billion ($24.5 million) to the budget for the fiscal year ending in July, bringing the total to Rwf2.115 trillion.

Gatete said domestic revenues would increase by Rwf37.5 billion francs to Rwf1.413 trillion, supported by treasury bonds and imported oil reserves.

Rwanda is building a new airport, and the minister said part of the revised budget will be used to finance flag carrier RwandAir, which runs flights to Dubai, Johannesburg, Brussels and other international destinations.

The country has focused on diversifying its agriculture-based economy since the 1994 genocide, in which an estimated 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed.

The government has won plaudits for improving the business climate. This year it was ranked number 41 on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index, up from 56 the previous year and second only to Mauritius on the continent.

The International Monetary Fund expects Rwanda’s economy to have grown 5.2 per cent in 2017. Its total debt stood at 46 per cent of gross domestic product as of 2017, Gatete said.

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