The Economy of Rwanda

The Economy of Rwanda

Rwandan Economy

Economy - overview: Rwanda is a poor rural country with about 90% of the population engaged in (mainly subsistence) agriculture. It is the most densely populated country in Africa and is landlocked with few natural resources and minimal industry. Primary foreign exchange earners are coffee and tea. The 1994 genocide decimated Rwanda's fragile economic base, severely impoverished the population, particularly women, and eroded the country's ability to attract private and external investment. However, Rwanda has made substantial progress in stabilizing and rehabilitating its economy to pre-1994 levels, although poverty levels are higher now. GDP has rebounded and inflation has been curbed. Despite Rwanda's fertile ecosystem, food production often does not keep pace with population growth, requiring food imports. Rwanda continues to receive substantial aid money and obtained IMF-World Bank Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) initiative debt relief in 2005-06. Rwanda also received Millennium Challenge Account Threshold status in 2006. The government has embraced an expansionary fiscal policy to reduce poverty by improving education, infrastructure, and foreign and domestic investment and pursuing market-oriented reforms, although energy shortages, instability in neighboring states, and lack of adequate transportation linkages to other countries continue to handicap growth.


GDP - real growth rate: 7.5% (2008 est.) 6% (2007 est.) 5.5% (2006 est.)

GDP - per capita:

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 35% industry: 22.1% services: 42.9% (2008 est.)

Population below poverty line:

Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.1% highest 10%: 38.2% (2000)

Distribution of family income - Gini index: 46.8 (2000)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

Labor force: 4.6 million (2000)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 90% industry and services: 10% (2000)

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget: revenues: $902.2 million expenditures: $1.032 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2008 est.)

Industries: cement, agricultural products, small-scale beverages, soap, furniture, shoes, plastic goods, textiles, cigarettes

Industrial production growth rate: 8% (2008 est.)

Electricity - production: 134 million kWh (2006 est.)

Electricity - production by source:

Electricity - consumption: 234.6 million kWh (2006 est.)

Electricity - exports: 10 million kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - imports: 130 million kWh (2007 est.)

Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2007 est.)

Oil - consumption: 5,320 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2005)

Oil - imports: 5,597 bbl/day (2005)

Oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)

Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves: 56.63 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)

Agriculture - products: coffee, tea, pyrethrum (insecticide made from chrysanthemums), bananas, beans, sorghum, potatoes; livestock

Exports: $219 million f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Exports - commodities: coffee, tea, hides, tin ore

Exports - partners: China 8.9%, Germany 6.8%, US 4.9%, Hong Kong 4.8% (2007)

Imports: $759 million f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Imports - commodities: foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, steel, petroleum products, cement and construction material

Imports - partners: Kenya 19.6%, Uganda 6.9%, Germany 6.2%, Belgium 5.9%, China 5% (2007)

Debt - external: $1.4 billion (2004 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:


Currency code:

Exchange rates: Rwandan francs (RWF) per US dollar - 550 (2008 est.), 585 (2007), 560 (2006), 610 (2005), 574.62 (2004)

Fiscal year:

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