Region: Central Africa
Capital: Kigali
Population (2012): 11,689,696
Surface area: 26,338 sq km
Currency: Rwandan franc
GDP per capita (2011): US $ 583

Economy – Overview:

Rwanda is a rural country with about 90% of the population engaged in (mainly subsistence) agriculture and some mineral and agro-processing. Tourism is now Rwanda’s primary foreign exchange earner and in 2008, minerals overtook coffee and tea as Rwanda’s primary export. Minerals exports declined 40% in 2009-10 due to the global economic downturn.

Rwanda has made substantial progress in stabilizing and rehabilitating its economy to pre-1994 levels. GDP has rebounded with an average annual growth of 7-8% since 2003 and inflation has been reduced to single digits. Nonetheless, a significant percent of the population still live below the official poverty line. Despite Rwanda’s fertile ecosystem, food production often does not keep pace with demand, requiring food imports. Agricultural production has increased significantly over the last three years and last year Rwanda was self sufficient in food production. Africa’s most densely populated country is trying to overcome the limitations of its small, landlocked economy by leveraging regional trade. Rwanda joined the East African Community and is aligning its budget, trade, and immigration policies with its regional partners. 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. Energy shortages, instability in neighbouring states, and lack of adequate transportation linkages to other countries continue to handicap private sector growth. The Rwandan government is seeking to become regional leader in information and communication technologies. In 2010, Rwanda neared completion of the first modern Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Kigali. The SEZ seeks to attract investment in all sectors, but specifically in agribusiness, information and communications technologies, trade and logistics, mining, and construction. The global downturn hurt export demand and tourism, but economic growth is recovering, driven in large part by the services sector, and inflation has been contained. On the back of this growth, government is gradually ending its fiscal stimulus policy while protecting aid to the poor.

Human Development Index ranking (2012): 167 out of 186
Net Official Development Assistance (ODA) (2011): US $ 1,262 million
Top Three Donors of gross ODA: United States, IDA, EU Institutions.
FDI inflows (2012): $ 160 million
Total External Debt (2011):  US $ 1.1 million
External debt stock (% of GNI) (2011): 17.5
Merchandise exports (2011): US$ 464 million
Terms of trade index (2012): 304
Major export commodities: Tin ores and concentrates, Coffee, Tea
Cost to export per container (2013): US $ 3,245
HIPC Position (2013): Post Completion Point

United Nations membership date: 18 September 1962

New York Mission:
Permanent Mission of the Rwandese Republic to the United Nations,
124 East 39th Street, New York, N.Y. 10016
Telephone: 212-679-9010 / 9023 / 9024
Fax: 212-679-9133
Website: http://rwanda.un.int

Sources:
United Nations Statistics Division
OECD Creditor reporting System Database
UNCTADStat database
UNDP (2013) Human Development Report
World Bank (2013) HIPC at a Glance
World Bank World Development Indicators
World Bank (2013) Doing Business 2013

Updated July 2013