Rwanda emerges as an economic powerhouse - CNBC Africa

Rwanda emerges as an economic powerhouse

East Africa

by Trust Matsilele 0

Mining has been one of the key economic drivers in Rwandan economy. PHOTO: Getty Images

“Before the genocide, we were a struggling and poor developing country. After the genocide we started focusing on key sectors such as the service sector, information technology, being the main component, and also modernising agriculture,” said finance minister Clever Gatete.

Rwanda is currently commemorating 20 years since the genocide which claimed over 800,000 lives.

Chinese ambassador to Rwanda, Shen Yongxiang noted that president Paul Kagame borrowed the Singaporean model of development to resuscitate the economy and that this has helped develop and normalise life.

“President Kagame proposed the idea of learning from Singapore in developing the country to make Rwanda a Singapore in Africa. The reason being that Singapore is small country just like Rwanda that succeeded in development,” said Yongxiang.

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Rwanda also shares certain national similarities with Singapore such as diverse ethnic groups and religions.

Having gained its independence in 1965, Singapore has been listed as one of the top four developed countries in 40 years. Rwanda also managed to climb up the economic ladder and by 2013 was regarded as the fourth international finance centre behind London, New York and Hong Kong.

The East African economy ranks first among African countries in terms of millennium development goals which includes poverty alleviation and ensuring all citizens get the basics such as water, food and healthcare.

Mining has also been a key sector in the Rwandan economy extracting resources such as tin, tantalum and tungsten, and contributing to over 10 per cent of total exports.

In the past 10 years, Rwanda has managed to maintain its gross domestic product at eight per cent and is regarded by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund as one of the lucrative investment destinations in the world.

(WATCH VIDEO: Rwanda economy to expand by 7.5 % in 2014: World Bank)

President Kagame has over the years managed to arrest a skyrocketing inflation, reform the revenue system and boost the private sector.

Rwanda estimates project growth per capita income to be at 900 US dollars by 2020. 

BY: TRUST MATSILELE

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