Rwanda today is a nation renascent, a country in an advanced stage of rehabilitation, and one looking to a brighter future. The high level of political stability and peace since 1995 has encouraged the repatriation of millions of refugees, while the main instigators of the genocide are being tried at the Arusha Tribunal in Tanzania and in the Gacaca courts in Rwanda. The victims of the genocide have been laid to rest in mass graves whose frank austerity affirms the government's ability to openly confront the recent past without extracting undue political mileage from its role in ending the genocide.
During its tenure in power, the RPF has placed strong emphasis on reconciliation, and has largely succeeded in forging a sense of national, rather than ethnic, identity in Rwanda. The autocratic and divisive political structures that formerly denied minorities a meaningful political voice have been replaced, for instance with the implementation of cellular councils that involve local communities in important decisions at grassroots level. Furthermore, although poverty remains endemic to Rwanda as it does to most other Africa countries, economic liberalisation and civil stability have stimulated a consistently high annual economic growth rate since 1995, and today there is a tangible economic buzz about Rwanda that bodes well for its long term future. Tourism will play a pivotal role in fostering the economic infrastructure and prosperity that nurture future political stability.
Rwanda’s economy still may be small and predominantly agricultural, but in recent years, with political stability, it has posted an impressive 9.9% GDP growth rate at the same time reducing inflation to 3.2% and currency depreciation to only 6.5% per annum. Foreign exchange controls have been liberalized and the banking system is sound and thriving.
With its Vision 2020 objective of combating poverty, Rwanda is embarking on a comprehensive program of privatization and liberalization with a goal to attaining rapid and sustainable economic growth. The goal is to transform the economy from its 90% dependence on subsistence agriculture into a modern, broadly based economic engine, welcoming to investors, creating employment and new opportunities.
The major exports of Rwanda are coffee, tea, tin cassiterite, wolframite and pyrethrum. Coffee makes up more than 50% of the total export value, while the mountain grown tea is considered to be some of the finest in the world.
Recently, substantial private investments have been made in tourism and developing new industries such as cut flowers for export and fish farming. The full range of Rwanda’s resources have yet to be realized. Commercial fishing in Lake Kivu is in its infancy; there are vast opportunities in the emerging tourism industry. The labour force is dedicated, energetic and eager for training
The government, through the Rwanda Investment Promotion Agency (RIPA) is ready to work hand-in-hand with investors to realize their goals and drive the economy forward to a better future. Opportunities abound for long-term, well-capitalized investors with ideas, imagination and business skills for an emerging economy.For more information about investing in Rwanda, contact:
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About Private Equity Africa
Private Equity Africa is published by Rho Consult Media (Rhomedia), a London-based financial information provider that serves underserved global financial markets.
Rhomedia was established on the conviction that as global investors look to diversify risk and/or search for higher yield, niche markets such as the private equity space in Africa will become increasingly sought after. As investors seek to leverage such new areas, the need for industry-specific, timely, technical and well-researched information and interaction becomes increasingly important.