The African Development Bank under Donald Kaberuka, and the World Bank, generally, have been President Paul Kagame’s praise-singers, often flattering him about his economic performance. Kaberuka’s tenure as President of the AfDB has ended. The likelihood of continued praise-singing for Kagame from AfDB with a similar intensity after Kaberuka’s departure will likely be minimal, if any.
But the biggest surprise has recently come from the World Bank. The Rwandan ruler and his government must surely have been shocked by the bluntly-worded Economic Update of June 2015 by the World Bank.
The Bank confirmed what Rwandans live everyday, and their economic pain and hardships. In the words of the Bank, Rwanda’s economy is illustrated by four characteristics:
(i) high growth and low per capita income;
(ii) high public and low private investment;
(iii) low exports and small tradable sector; and
(iv) high reliance on aid in the economy.
The World Bank adds that “although Rwanda’s annual average growth rate of 7.7 percent in the past decade is the 14th highest among 129 countries, its GDP per capita is one of the lowest.”
Worst of all, Rwanda has “not developed vibrant tradable sectors (i.e., export crop, manufacturing and mining), which account for only nine percent of GDP.”
With regards to export capacity, the World Bank concludes that not only is Rwanda the worst in East Africa, it is the least effective across Africa and low income countries. As the World Bank puts it:
“Consequently, the share of exports of goodsand services in the [Rwandan] economy is lower than Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, as well as other country groups (low income, Sub-Saharan Africa). The combination of high public investment and low export revenues has made Rwanda reliant on foreign financing, mainly in aid.”
It appears that as,the Kagame propagandists increase their noise about his “economic miracle” that justifies his crowning as ruler-for-life, the more it becomes evident that the miracle is a big lie.
Dr David Himbara