Kagame Tweet: Africa Will Be Just Fine In 2016

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Written by Dana Sanchez

From drought and tanking currencies to political turmoil and commodities no one wants  — negativity about Africa in 2016 blankets the entire continent with forecasts of gloom.

Generally, 2016 looks to be the toughest year for African economies for a while, BBC reported. And it’s not like 2015 was easy.

Expect a few countries to call on the International Monetary Fund for help this year, BBC said.

This prompted Rwandan President Paul Kagame to do some cheerleading and dispel the negativity, NewsofRwanda reported.

Kagame said, “#Africa: It will be just fine! Hardwork, value addition and a lot more trade and investment/cooperation among African people.”

The only African countries with reason to be optimistic in 2016 are non-resource exporters, Mail&Guardian reported. This makes agriculture very attractive in 2016, especially with continuing drought and bad weather expected to drive up prices of cash-crop exports.

But it is also a wake-up call for more intra-African trade to provide a buffer from external market contagion, according to M&G.

Rwanda is already expanding trade with other African countries. Imports from neighboring Uganda bypassed India to become Rwanda’s No. 2 trading partner. China is No. 1 and Kenya is No. 3, NewsofRwanda reported.

Inflation has fallen in Rwanda, down 0.5 percent in less than three weeks. Food prices are stabilizing and rain has fallen in a usually dry and unpredictable season.

Meanwhile, European stores want more African fruit and flowers. Turkey wants tropical fruit. Netherlands can’t get enough flowers.

Asian and European countries increasingly demand African tea and coffee. Rwanda’s is in high demand.

“Rwanda exceeded many democratic counterparts in growth and socio-economic progress,” according to the Brookings Global Report published on Tuesday.