Kigali, 27 January 2015

President Kagame today received Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of International Monetary Fund (IMF), who is on a three day visit in Rwanda.

Christine Lagarde’s visit to Rwanda marks the first visit of a Managing Director of the IMF to Rwanda. On various occasions, Lagarde has expressed admiration for Rwanda success story – emphasizing the inclusive economic growth story as well as the vision for and achievements towards gender equality.

During the recently concluded World Economic Forum held in Davos last week, Christine Lagarde described President Kagame as a leader who has done more than any other leader to include women.

Giving a keynote speech earlier today at Parliament Buildings to representatives of the business community, civil society and development partners, Christine Lagarde shared her impressions of Rwanda:

“What struck me most about  Rwanda, is the unrelenting focus on homegrown interventions to make growth more inclusive. Rwanda today is a dynamic economy with good governance standards. The IMF has travelled quite a way with Rwanda and the next phase of our relationship is a true partnership.”

Rwanda has exceeded my expectations. There is no doubt that Rwanda is among theAfrican countries that are rising,” Lagarde later added at a joint press conference with Claver Gatete, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.

Minister Gatete announced during the Press Conference the upcoming Capital Markets East Africa Conference to be hosted in Rwanda in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation.

59-year-old Lagarde has held various ministerial posts in the French government ranging from Agriculture and Fishing, Economic Affairs and Finance and Employment. She is the first woman to lead the IMF.

Notes to the editor:

  • IMF is an organization of 188 countries, and is in charge of fostering global monetary cooperation, securing financial stability, facilitating international trade, promoting high employment and sustainable economic growth, to reduce poverty around the world.
  • Rwanda has been a member of the IMF since 1963. Rwanda’s post war programs resumed in 1998. After successful implementation of more than a decade of reforms under the IMF financial arrangements, in 2010, Rwanda moved to a Policy Support Instrument (PSI), a non-financial arrangement. This allowed delivering clear signals to development partners and markets of Rwanda’s strong economic policies.
  • The Government of Rwanda is currently implementing its second three-year PSI, focusing on: private sector development; export promotion; resource mobilization; and financial sector development. Last December 2014, the IMF board positively concluded the second review of Rwanda’s program stating:

“Rwanda’s economic performance since the turn of the century has been remarkable. Strong policies have played a key role in maintaining GDP growth at 7.8 percent on average since 2000, with significant poverty reduction. The economy is recovering from the disruptions induced by aid suspension through mid-2013, with growth bouncing back in the first half of 2014 and inflation well contained. Performance under the PSI has remained strong.”