“For Africa as we wait to see what unfolds and adjust, we should be learning the lesson that we should not be entirely dependent. We will wake up to the reality there are things we should be doing for ourselves. You have made it appear that your situations are perfect and you want others to emulate you. Then you are surprised by what unfolds. It is what you have been hitting us with that is coming back to bite you. I did not change the constitution. If you want to know the truth you will find it is the people who did, not me. My satisfaction lies in the truth that we have not been involved in harming our people. What we are doing is to develop our country. If we don’t take care of ourselves, no one else will. As long as Rwandans are happy, we will keep doing what needs to be done. We will be listening to what others say but we will not be distracted from what needs to be done.”
-President Paul Kagame speaks to Gerard Baker, editor in chief of the Wall Street Journal, at the closing session of Invest in Africa conference.
President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, the long lingering Executive of Rwanda has compelled his words against dependency of the West. Surely, he has had this in mind for while in his own haven, as the Rwandan government has been a donor friendly. Therefore, that he claims now to take a stand against them shows the sudden change of attitude. However, it is sudden donors and programs that have stopped coming Kagame’s way, therefore the Rwandan government have started to run a giant tab of external debt instead of donor aid grants. Like look at some quotes from companies that establish the economic output and the financial flow of nations, like Deloitte and KPMG!
“According to BMI, total external debt levels in the country have been rising steadily in recent years, from 16.1% of GDP in 2010 to an estimated 30.5% of GDP in 2015. Debt levels for 2016 and total external debt are forecast to amount to 35.2% of GDP and will be composed mostly of government debt” (Deloitte, P: 4, 2016).
Failing Foreign Aid, therefore rising debt:
“The primary headwind to the Rwandan economy in the 2016-2025 period will be the impact on debt as a result of falling foreign aid. Despite prudent fiscal policies to date, increases in debt levels will follow from the fall in foreign aid, since Rwanda is now deemed fit to transition from grant-based financing to loan-based financing by the IMF” (Deloitte, P: 5,2016). “The government has been compelled to adopt a more prudent fiscal policy stance in an attempt to reduce the country’s dependence on donor support and increase fiscal autonomy. Recent external headwinds have encouraged the government to ease demand for imports by reassessing its infrastructure investment programme. This will undoubtedly have a negative impact on economic growth. That being said, the benefits of lower donor dependence and improved macroeconomic stability should outweigh the costs related to lower growth over the short term. Turning to external balances, Rwanda’s wide merchandise trade deficit is expected to maintain a shortfall in the overall current account going forward” (KPMG, P: 4, 2016).
“Aid harmonization has been improved and progress continues to be registered in the implementation of the Paris and Busan commitments especially the use of national budget and procurement systems. The Bank was the 6th largest Official Development Assistance (ODA) provider to Rwanda in 2013/14, accounting for 9.4% of total ODA26. The World Bank and EU invest in agriculture and energy whereas the leading bilateral DPs focus, among other things, on human development and social protection (Annex 8a). Annex 8b summarizes the progress made in implementing selected indicators as captured by the Donor Performance Assessment Framework. Use of the sector budget support (SBS) instrument has increased the share of Bank support disbursed using country systems. Under the DPCG, the Bank actively participates in activities to enhance the implementation of EDPRS II such as the 2014/15 assessment of SWGs” (AfDB, P: 9, 2016).
So if you look at the financial policies of the republic of Rwanda, some of it is not really chosen as the donors funds that has been suspended or stopped might be for several of reasons. That might be that if they accept the funds they have to follow a spectre of policies and interferes with the power that Kagame wish to achieve. The RPF and Kagame has total control of Rwanda, the export and the import, also owns dozens of the businesses. So the Rwandan government had to switch their economy with more loans, instead of donor aid. The loans are coming in through external debt as the external donor funds and grants have dwindled.
Therefore, the excuse of suddenly wanting to be independent is more a need, than a wish. If it was a wish earlier, than the AGOA or USAID to the RPF would have stopped decades ago. That should be common knowledge of the relationship between Paul Kagame and Bill Clinton. It is not that it is positive that the Rwandan Government want’s less aid is a healthy stance. Still, the excuse isn’t eaten by me.
The reality is that the increased debt instead of donor grants will hurt the economy, as the levied interest rates and other cost will hurt the economy. It isn’t healthy to be dependent of the aid either, but the reasons now seem more to reactionary than real intent. I am sure Paul Kagame would love funds from Belgium and France to build hospitals and clinics in rural regions of Rwanda. So, suddenly the West isn’t good enough, especially when they are questioning his reasons for staying in power and not having any successors while his regime is keeping a close lid on the opposition. Therefore, the economy and independent from the world becomes more important because then he needs to less show of transparency and accountability. Peace.
AfDB – ‘RWANDA BANK GROUP COUNTRY STRATEGY PAPER 2017 – 2021 (October, 2016).
Deloitte – ‘Rwanda Economic Outlook 2016 The Story Behind the Numbers’ (June 2016)
KPMG – ‘Economic Snapshot H2, 2016 – Rwanda’ (15.10.2016) link:
Here you will see what strategies and plans the Government of Uganda has made for their loans and debts. This is about how the Government will deal with it and how it can be done. The numbers tell what they can expect if they pick the certain ways of dealing with it. It shows what can happen and the shock scenarios are important.
This should be seen as important to follow especially with the growing debt and the rates that come with that. Therefore it will be something that should be monitored. From the sustainability of the ratio according the GDP should be something that also brings fear. Especially since this will have general effect on how the general economy will be hit with the down payments and strain the basic budgets of the government. There its a viable thing that should be well known by people, because this will have big importance until FY 2019/2020
“The Uganda Vision 2040 aspires to transform Uganda into a modern and prosperous society within 30 years through provision of adequate infrastructure, development of agriculture, human resources and services sectors, enlargement of markets, strengthening of the private sector and through industrialization” (…) “Implementation of the Uganda 2040 Vision will require substantial resources that will partly be garnered through the domestic and international borrowing. To ensure that our debt remain sustainable, such borrowing has to be carried out through a properly formulated Medium Term Debt Management Strategy (MTDS)” (MTDS, P: 4, 2015).
“The key aim for the MTDS2015 is to ascertain the cost and risk trade-off of financing the medium term fiscal deficit through borrowing while remaining mindful of our debt sustainability” (…) “To meet Government’s financing requirements at the minimum cost, subject to a prudent degree of risk; (ii) to ensure that the level of public debt remains sustainable, both in the medium and long term horizon while being mindful of future generations; and (iii) to promote the development of the domestic financial market (MTDS, P: 6, 2015).
(MTDS, P: 6-7, 2015).
External Debt Stock:
From FY2006/2007 it was Domestic Debt and Outstanding(DoD) was US$1.47 billion. And in FY 2013/2014 had risen to US$4.3 billion (MTDS, P: 13, 2015).
Domestic Debt Stock:
External debt maturity for the ATM (Average Time for Maturity) was 18.9 Years. The plan is setting that the in 2.3 years will the ATM be 11.8 years.
Aggregrate Medium Term Debt Strategy:
The outlook for the 5.3% in FY 2014/2015 and is looking to reach 5.8% in FY 2015/2016. The plan forward is to attain an average 6.3% for the fiscal framework (MTDS, P: 17, 2015).
Government expenditure is on an average to be 20.9% of the GDP for the FY 2014/2015. In the 2015/2016 it is 21.7% of the GDP. The main expenditure for the budget is the infrastructure projects like the upgrading of Entebbe International Airport, Hydro Power projects and Albertine Regional Airport. The total cost for the projects is US$7.0 Billion. There is set to be 5% target for the inflation rate and the exchange rate is set for 12.1% in FY 2015/2016 and average for 2.4% the rest of the years for the medium term (MTDS P: 17-18).
Stylized Financing Instruments:
i: International Development Association (IDA) has the interest 0.75% for the maturity of 38 years.
ii: African Development Fund (ADF) has the interest 0.75% with a maturity of 40 years.
iv: The concessional is with fixed rate loans with 23 years maturity and 6 year grace period. These terms comes from IDA-Blend, Kuwait Fund, Abu Dhabi Fund, UK-Export Credit Guarantee.
v: The fixed rate instrument on the Euro Bond which is priced on a ten-years US-Treasury interest rate.
vii: With Pure commercial loans is a instruments with a 7 years of maturity and with a 3 years grace period.
viii: One T-Bills is a domestic market debt instrument that has a maturity of 91 days, 181 days, and 364 days.
ix: Four T-Bonds is a domestic market debt instrument that has a maturity of 2, 5, 10 and 15 years.
(MTDS, P: 18-21, 2015).
Four scenarios for the Market:
First Scenario: The first thing is possible currency depreciation – is that in the FY 2015/2016 can end up with 30% depreciation and will have to work to sustain that through to 2019/2020.
Second Scenario: A sharp off increase in domestic rates for 2015/2016 and at the Interest Rate will follow the baseline of the Foreign Currency.
Third Scenario: Domestic Interest Rate still set to be baseline assumption that we’re set. And that the denomination on the Foreign Currency following the instruments set for it.
Fourth Scenario: That the Decapitation of the UGX towards the US Dollar in the amount of 15%, that can lead to a shock in the domestic yield a curve for the 2015/2016.
(MTDS, P: 23, 2015).
Analysis of the strategies:
That the total debt-to-GDP from the current level of 28.6% by the end of June 2014, if the end of the time it might end up with 50% level by 2020. This is because of substantial projected increases the fiscal deficit. With the worst strategy the interest rate can go from 1.4% in June 2014 to become 4% in 2020 (MTDS, P: 24, 2015).
Hope you have found it interesting and learn something of the Government of Uganda planning of dealing with their debt. And how they see the future for their economy. Then what kind of strategies and scenario’s that could appear and how they will appear together. The Financial Years that are ahead and how the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development thinks of their economy. Hope it give you something and also a little feeling about how the economy might progress.
Republic of Uganda/Directorate of Debt & Cash Management – Ministry of Financing, Planning & Economic Development: ‘Medium Term Debt Management Strategy’ (MTDS): 2015/2016 -2019/2020 (April 2015).