KIGALI, Rwanda – Rwanda has managed to find its path out of poverty. Rwanda has seen a growth in its economy of 8% or more since 2006. This is a tremendous achievement for a country that is land-locked, positioned in an unstable region, and has no natural resources.
The growth can be attributed to the spirited performance by the private sector particularly in trade, telecommunications, and transport, which, together, generated 40% of Rwanda’s 2012 real GDP. Rwanda is expected grow at a projected rate of 7% in 2013 and 7.5% in 2014. Due to its impressive performance over the last couple of years, Rwanda has earned the title of the fasted growing economy in the East African Community (EAC).
“While Rwanda has pushed back poverty dramatically in the past decade, it is still one of the world’s poorest countries,” said Carolyn Turk, World Bank Country Manager for Rwanda. “We are happy to continue supporting Rwanda’s efforts to channel its impressive growth into shared prosperity for Rwanda’s citizens,” she said.
Rwanda has reduced the number of its citizens living under the poverty line from 59% in 2001 to 45% in 2011. This is due to several different developments and government programs, but the most influential factors to reducing this statistic are agricultural production and the increase in commercialization of agriculture. By commercializing agriculture there has been a rise in the share of harvests among citizens because the harvests are now sold in local markets.
To keep Rwanda on its path out of poverty there must be a continued focus on agricultural productivity. With a boom in the agriculture department it will mean an increase in business activity related to agriculture. The government will also need to expand its program such as the “one-cow-per-family” program, sponsored by UNDP, to reach all regions of Rwanda.