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Rwanda Economy 1996

    • Overview:
      Rwanda is a poor African nation suffering bitterly from ethnic-based civil war. Almost 50% of GDP comes from the agricultural sector; coffee and tea make up 80%-90% of total exports. The amount of fertile land is limited, however, and deforestation and soil erosion continue to create problems. The industrial sector in Rwanda is small, contributing only 17% to GDP. Manufacturing focuses mainly on the processing of agricultural products. The Rwandan economy remains dependent on coffee/tea exports and foreign aid. Weak international prices since 1986 have caused the economy to contract and per capita GDP to decline. A structural adjustment program with the World Bank began in October 1990. Ethnic-based insurgency since 1990 has devastated wide areas, especially in the north, and displaced hundreds of thousands of people. A peace accord in mid-1993 temporarily ended most of the fighting, but massive resumption of civil warfare in April 1994 in the capital city Kigali and elsewhere has been taking thousands of lives and severely affecting short-term economic prospects. The economy suffers massively from failure to maintain the infrastructure, looting, neglect of important cash crops, and lack of health care facilities.

    • National product:
      GDP - purchasing power parity - $7.9 billion (1993 est.)

    • National product real growth rate:
      -8% (1993 est.)

    • National product per capita:
      $950 (1993 est.)

    • Inflation rate (consumer prices):

    • Unemployment rate:

    • Budget:

        $350 million

        $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA (1992 est.)

    • Exports:
      $44 million (f.o.b., 1993 est.)

        coffee 63%, tea, cassiterite, wolframite, pyrethrum

        Germany, Belgium, Italy, Uganda, UK, France, US

    • Imports:
      $250 million (f.o.b., 1993 est.)

        textiles, foodstuffs, machines and equipment, capital goods, steel, petroleum products, cement and construction material

        US, Belgium, Germany, Kenya, Japan

    • External debt:
      $873 million (1993 est.)

    • Industrial production:
      growth rate -2.2% (1991); accounts for 17% of GDP

    • Electricity:

        60,000 kW

        190 million kWh

        consumption per capita:
        23 kWh (1993)

    • Industries:
      mining of cassiterite (tin ore) and wolframite (tungsten ore), tin, cement, agricultural processing, small-scale beverage production, soap, furniture, shoes, plastic goods, textiles, cigarettes

    • Agriculture:
      cash crops - coffee, tea, pyrethrum (insecticide made from chrysanthemums); main food crops - bananas, beans, sorghum, potatoes; stock raising

    • Economic aid:

        US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $128 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $2 billion; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $45 million; Communist countries (1970-89), $58 million

        in October 1990 Rwanda launched a Structural Adjustment Program with the IMF; since September 1991, the EC has given $46 million and the US $25 million in support of this program (1993)

    • Currency:
      1 Rwandan franc (RF) = 100 centimes

    • Exchange rates:
      Rwandan francs (RF) per US$1 - 144.3 (3rd quarter 1994), 144.25 (1993), 133.35 (1992), 125.14 (1991), 82.60 (1990)

    • Fiscal year:
      calendar year

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