Rwanda Receives Credit Rating Upgrade

Rwanda’s credit rating has been upgraded from “B” to “B+” by international ratings agency Standard & Poor (S&P).

The upgrade has been made on the basis of the country’s strong economic prospects and stable outlook. Specifically, S&P cited robust investment levels of about 25% of GDP and expectations that government debt will remain moderate despite planned fiscal expansions.

However, the agency did caution that the rating could be subject to a future lowering if the government’s investment program significantly increases external debt beyond current projects. They also flagged the potential risk that Ebola faces if the ongoing outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) impacts Rwanda’s economy and exports. Recent cases in the DRC city of Goma, which sits near to the Rwandan border, have raised concerns regarding a potential outbreak. However, the country has instituted a number of measures to guard against any spread.

S&P further noted that additional ratings upgrades could follow in the medium term should the external outlook improve substantially, for example as a result of government policies to diversify exports, or if income levels rise by more than expected. 

The agency stated it expects real economic growth to average 7.4% between 2019 and 2022.

The upgrade will boost investor confidence in the country. Speaking on the development Rwanda’s Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Uzziel Ndagijimana, stated, "This is good for investors; being recognized by independent credit rating agencies gives confidence to investors but it comes adding to the other positive indicators and publications."

Blessing Mwangi