By David Himbara
General Paul Kagame’s government bombastically announced that it registered an impressive US$2.4 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2019. But in another official document, the same government reported US$353.8 million in actual FDI inflows to Rwanda in 2019. The statistical manipulation backfires in this case – the larger figure is a shameful failure at exaggeration
General Paul Kagame is obsessed with presenting bullish statistics on the performance of the Rwandan economy to the world. Hardly any day passes without an official announcement that Rwanda has outperformed other countries in this or that field. It is in this sense that Rwanda Development Board (RDB) announced that Rwanda registered “over US$2.4 billion worth of investments in 2019, an increase of 22.6% from the previous year.” RDB adds that “35,715 jobs are expected to be created by the new investments with the manufacturing and construction sector expected to create 22,935 and 3,053 new jobs respectively. The government aims to create 214,000 new jobs every year from investments and other employment sources.” These are bogus outbursts.
The RDB fantasy is revealed in the National Bank of Rwanda’s Foreign Private Capital in Rwanda Year 2020, a Report that is co-authored by RDB.According to this report, “In 2019, the total FDI in Rwanda declined by 7.3 percent to US$353.8 million from US$381.9 in 2018.” The report further reveals that the entire stock of foreign direct investment in Rwanda is no more than US$2.5 billion. The uncoordinated and opportunistic use of statistics by elements of Kagame’s government is embarrassing. Stay tuned.