Rwanda Country Risk Report Q1 2020
At Fitch Solutions, we have revised up our real GDP growth estimate for 2019 to 9.0%, from 7.7% previously, as a result of stronger than expected economic activity in the first half of the year.
We maintain our forecasts for Rwandan growth to come in at a robust 8.4% in 2020 and 8.7% in 2021, with expansion being driven by strong private consump-tion, coupled with government and private sector infrastructure investment.
These forecast growth rates imply that Rwanda will be a regional outperformer over the coming years, with large improvements in GDP per capita and living standards in prospect.
We see limited chance of any real threats to the position of Rwandan President Paul Kagame emerging over the next few years.
Several reports of opposition party members being killed or going missing in 2019 suggest that there will remain limited scope for opposition political forces to make any meaningful impact on the Rwandan political system.
Rwanda's border dispute with Uganda shows few signs of abating, increasing the landlocked country's reliance on Tanzania to prevent any larger disruption to its trade flows.
Rwanda could see a potential deterioration of the political climate over the longer term. Kagame's prolonged stint in office, along with fuelling an already strong cult of personality associated with a personal policymaking strategy, could create a power vacuum in case of a sudden departure.
Given historic enmity between Rwanda's Hutu and Tutsi communities, which has been in part restrained by Kagame's aggressive policies on prohibiting hate speech and criminalising genocide ideology, the president's sudden departure could significantly increase social instability.
Tensions in neighbouring DRC and Burundi might spill over to Rwanda, challenging the country's security environment.
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