Guerrero, Antonio, Global Finance
Botswana, the world's largest diamond producer, received a $1 .5 billion loan from the African Development Bank, marking the bank's largest-ever budget support facility. It is also Botswana's first loan from the development bank in 17 years. The loan will help finance an expected 13.5% fiscal deficit prompted by a marked decline in diamond prices and export earnings. Botswana is reportedly also in talks with the IMF for further budget assistance. In February S&P cut its outlook on Botswana's A foreign currency rating from stable to negative.
Rwandan finance minister James Musoni presented an ambitious Sl .5 billion annual budget for fiscal year 2009-2010. which is 24% higher than the previous one. It is also Rwanda's first budget to conform to the budget calendar set by the East African Community [EAC). The budget predicts 5% to 6% GDP growth for the period, down from last year's 11.2%. It includes $308 million in infrastructure investments, equal to 21.8% of the budget total (up from the previous budget's 20.2%). Authorities aim to reduce the country's dependence on foreign aid, with 51 % of the budget's financing set to come from domestic revenues. …