During President Kagame’s leadership, the country has experienced a significant economic transformation which translated into alleviating poverty and improving the lives of all Rwandans. The real GDP growth increased from 2.2% in 2003 to 7.2% in 2010 with a peak growth of 11.5% in 2008. Overall, the average growth rate has been 7%. This was achieved through the long-term economic development plan, Vision 2020, and its medium-term strategy, the Economic Development Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) which gives a clear direction on how to move from poverty to a middle income country. From Vision 2020, a blend of programs and policies have been formulated and implemented in several key sectors- agriculture, investment, tourism and ICT. The Green Revolution: The End of Subsistence Agriculture In 2007, His Excellency the President launched the Crop Intensification Program (CIP) as part of the Integrated Development Program (IDP) which transformed the agriculture sector. The program aimed to consolidate land and cultivate a limited number of crops (the ones most adapted to the region), to increase the use of fertilizers and improved seeds. This resulted in growth of the sector of 7.6% in 2010 against 2.7% in 2007. This program was also complemented by the ‘one cow per poor family’ targeting the neediest Rwandans..
Top Ten Global Reformer
A series of reforms have been implemented to create a conducive environment for business. Rwanda was ranked one of the top ten global reformers in the World Bank Doing Business Survey 2010, and second global reformer out of 183 countries. Rwanda is also the 9th easiest place to start a business in the world and the 6th most competitive economy in Sub-Saharan Africa according to the 2010 World Economic Forum global Competitiveness Report. These reforms have been made possible by Government of Rwanda’s commitment to a politically stable country with well functioning institutions, rule of law and zero tolerance for corruption.
Tourism on the rise
Rwanda has become widely recognized as one of the safest countries in the world. The city of Kigali is the first city in Africa to receive the prestigious Habitat Scroll of Honor Award in recognition of its cleanliness, peacefulness and security. With its rich biodiversity, stunning natural beauty and excellent climate, Rwanda is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination. Gorilla tracking in the Virungas is the country’s premier attraction, supplemented by the mesmerizing savannah and plains wildlife of Akagera National Park, the incredible biodiversity of the extensive Nyungwe rainforest and a range of hills and lakeshore beaches around the expansively beautiful Lake Kivu. In 2010, Rwanda hosted 666,000 visitors who generated US$ 200M- a 14% increase from 2009.
ICT for all
In line with the Government of Rwanda’s commitment to increase nationwide access to ICT, the rollout of fiber optic cable has been completed. The use of technology was also extended to the agricultural sector with the establishment of E-Soko- an Agricultural Market Information System that has been deployed to provide farmers with reliable, up-to-date market price information. With this infrastructure, service delivery in public and private sectors will be dramatically improved and access to information will no longer be a luxury as high–speed internet connectivity becomes affordable and accessible.