Rwanda at a glance
A Nation in Progress
Located in the heart of the Great Lakes Region in Central Africa, Rwanda is one of a few African countries on track to achieve seven of the eight Millennium Development Goals. The country has made remarkable progress since the 1994 genocide, particularly in promoting good governance and delivering essential services to the poor.
It is known worldwide for its good governance record, zero tolerance for corruption and promotion of gender equality (56% of all parliamentarians are women, the highest proportion of female representation in the world).
Rwanda has its own home grown Vision 2020 and ‘Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy’ to transform its agricultural based economy into a knowledge-based hub for business and information technology by 2020. The country recently joined both the East African Community and the Commonwealth of Nations and has been cited two years in row by the World Bank as one of the world’s top performers in terms of doing business.
Despite impressive economic growth and development, Rwanda remains one of the poorest countries in the world with 44% of the population living below the poverty line. With a population of over 11 million and high fertility of 4.6 births per woman, Rwanda is also the most densely populated country in Africa with half of its citizens under the age of 18 years.
Rwanda’s economy is mainly dependent on rain-led agricultural production (based on small, semi-subsistence and fragmented farms), which accounts for 35% of GDP and almost 80% of total employment.
Although still one of the least urbanised countries in Africa, Rwanda has, since 1994, experienced rapid urbanisation, due mainly to the rural exodus and return of refugees after the genocide and civil war. The urban population today represents 19% of the total population and is projected to grow to 30% of the population by 2020.