Franc weakens against the US dollar

  • By Berna Namata
  • December 09, 2009

The Rwandan franc weakened against the US dollar during the first half of this year, depreciating by 3 percent, the Central Bank has announced.

Official figures indicate that the franc slipped from Rwf571.24 per a dollar by the of 2009 to Rwf588.58 by the end of June this year, partially boosting the country’s export sector that grew by 24.2 percent and 15.2 percent in value and volume terms respectively in the first half of 2010.

Vice Governor of the Central Bank, Ambassador Claver Gatete said the franc depreciating against the dollar was as a result of the American currency gaining more value on the international market. 

“If it is appreciating globally it also affects us indirectly. But in general the Rwandan franc against other foreign and regional currencies has been stable,” he told Business Times in a phone interview yesterday.

However the franc maintained its strength against major trading currencies. The Central Bank said that the franc gained by 12.3 percent and 2.2 percent against the Euro and British Pound respectively to the advantage of importers using those currencies.

Against other regional currencies, the franc appreciated by 8.7 percent against the Ugandan Shilling, 1.7 percent against Kenyan Shilling, 0.1 percent versus Tanzanian Shilling and depreciated by 2.1 percent against Burundi franc.

The Central Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) for the first half of 2010 says that in order to safeguard the competitiveness of the export sector, BNR has deliberately accommodated this slightly higher Rwandan franc depreciation to offset the effect of the appreciation of the dollar on the international market.

“We have to allow the market to give us the real value of the currency because this is more sustainable. The Central Bank only comes in to correct the market. Right now the dollar is coming down,” Gatete explained.

“For us we are looking at where we buy and sell goods. This is our main concern.”

After some volatility during the first half of 2009, Rwandan Franc has recovered its stability against the dollar since July last year.


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