In 1994, the last year of Rwanda’s civil war, the country’s per capita GDP was just $146 (Dh536.1). Since then, due a raft of economic initiatives lead by President Paul Kigame, that figure has jumped to a projected $819.65 by the end of 2018. It’s just one of the many figures that shows how well the country has done transforming itself from a war-torn, impoverished nation into one of Africa’s fastest growing economies.
Since becoming president in 2000, Kagame has made development a national priority, starting with the establishment of the Vision 2020 that aims to make Rwanda a middle-income country by 2020. The country has also prioritised infrastructure projects to boost FDI. The country has achieved 8 per cent growth annually between 2004 and 2001, thanks to a robust economic sector. Between 2017-2018, the economy grew by 8.9 per cent. The World Bank ranked Rwanda 29th globally in its 2018 Ease Of Doing Business Report and put it second in Africa.
The country has also developed a diversified economy, with manufacturing, mining, agriculture and agro-processing becoming the top sectors. Other prominent sectors include tourism, healthcare, business services and ICT. The economic growth that Rwanda has experienced has lifted at least one million citizens out of poverty between 2005 and 2011, according to the Rwandan Household Living Conditions Survey. The country still has a large percentage of its population living in poverty, however. About 39 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line and 16 per cent lives in extreme poverty, defined by the World Bank as less than $1.25 a day.