INTERVIEW-Rwanda to grow 7-8 pct in 2009-central bank

Wed Feb 25, 2009 11:09am GMT

* Central bank sees Rwanda's 2009 growth at 7-8 percent

* Inflation to slow to 5-8 percent by end 2009

* Export earnings to grow, but at slower pace than 2008

* Government capital expenditure to maintain growth momentum

By Hereward Holland

KIGALI, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Rwanda's economy should grow by 7-8 percent this year, after expanding by 11.2 percent in 2008, the fastest pace in five years, the country's central bank governor said on Wednesday.

Francois Kanimba, governor of the National Bank of Rwanda, said the economy had been bolstered by a booming agricultural sector, which constitutes around 38 percent of the economy, and that public investment would help maintain growth momentum.

"My expectation is perhaps we aren't going to achieve double digit growth again like last year," Kanimba told Reuters in a telephone interview. "The growth rate we expect, based on our medium-term strategy ... is in the range of 7-8 percent."   Continued...

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