You are here: Home / Field Work / Rwanda, The changing face of Rwanda's public debt

Rwanda, The changing face of Rwanda's public debt

In March 2016, Danny Cassimon, Dennis Essers and Karel Verbeke (IOB, University of Antwerp) went to Kigali, Rwanda to interview different stakeholders involved in Rwandan public debt management for their BeFinD study on the changing configuration of Rwandan debt.

The project, which is part of Acropolis, aims to understand how Rwandan public debt evolved after the country was provided massive external debt cancellation under the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) and Multialteral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI). As a result of these interventions the country’s public debt sustainability was restored and the Rwandan government was given the opportunity to start from a clean slate with a new, hopefully more successful debt policy. During the field visit we consulted different interviewees to find out how Rwandan public debt has evolved in the aftermath of debt relief and which priorities were put forward in the debt policy of the Rwandan government. We paid particular attention to public debt instruments which are new or of growing importance in the Rwandan context, i.e., non-traditional donor loans, the 2013 Eurobond, and longer-term local currency bonds. We also discussed with the Rwandan authorities the implications of this post-relief debt accumulation for Rwandan debt management and future debt sustainability. Finally we consulted donors to see how their aid portfolio interacts with the Rwandan public debt stock and debt management strategy.


We would specifically like to thank Belgian Development Cooperation (DGD) and the Belgian Embassy in Kigali for facilitating our field visit in March 2016, and staff of the Rwandan Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN), the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR), the Capital Market Authority (CMA), the Rwandan Stock Exchange (RSE), the Rwandan Social Security Board (RSSB), local commercial banks, the World Bank, the International Finance Cooperation (IFC), the Belgian Development Agency (BTC) and other bilateral donor organizations for interesting discussions and additional data.