Rwanda's economic growth will slow to 7 percent in 2011 from 7.4 percent a year before, while inflation is projected to quicken to an average of 4.4 percent due to oil prices, the finance minister said on Wednesday.

We expect real GDP growth of 7.0 percent in 2011 as compared to the 7.4 percent of 2010 and 6.1 percent of 2009, John Rwangombwa told a news conference.

Because of the current trend in the international market, the rise in oil prices, we expect to see inflation higher than last year at 4.4 percent on average during 2011.

Rwanda's economy is highly dependent on agriculture. Rwangombwa said that the country expects to see slow growth because its sowing season that runs from September to March had been hampered by lack of rains.

Rwangombwa also said the Rwanda has set up an export strategy to narrow the country's trade deficit and added that Rwanda projects about $300 million in 2011 from exports alone.

In 2010 we attracted $250 million from exports and imports were worth $1.1 billion. The gap is about $850 million. The export strategy which is yet to be reviewed by parliament but is already being implemented ... to narrow the trade deficit, Rwangombwa said.