The Rwandan economy is booming and has become a World Bank success story, a somewhat rare description in today’s global lending and loaning marketplace.
Rwanda is situated adjacent to the larger and more economically prosperous Democratic Republic of the Congo and nearby its East African counterparts Burundi, Tanzania, and Uganda. While Rwanda has experienced horrific tragedy, terror, and political instability in its past, the nation now enters a seemingly dynamic and prosperous post-genocide era. This breakthrough is monumental, especially given its negative international reputation garnered from the 1994 tragedy.
Politically, Rwanda also appears to be stable and balanced:
Rwanda’s parliamentary elections in September of 2018 saw women fill 64% of seats, the Rwandan Patriotic Front maintain an absolute majority in the Chamber of Deputies and, for the first time, two opposition parties, the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda and Social Party Imberakuri have won two seats each in the parliament (World Bank 2020).
Economically, Rwanda is implementing the National Strategies for Transformation (NST1), which are underpinned by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (World Bank 2020). This third strategic plan follows two, back-to-back, five-year initiatives, Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategies—EDPRS (2008-12), and EDPRS-2 (2013-18), which are largely credited for the nation’s current robust economic and financial performance and future outlook.
The country’s future looks brighter than ever before; however, the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be just the inopportune, exogenous difficulty its economy did not need. In 2019, just prior to the pandemic, “Rwandan economic growth exceeded 10%,” and, additionally, the strong growth was not expected to be derailed in 2020″ (World Bank 2020).
The World Bank Group has recently provided $14.25 million of International Development Association credit for immediate financial assistance to a new operation, dubbed “Rwanda COVID-19 Emergency Response Project” (World Bank 2020).
Going forward, the continued implementation of its third economic plan paired with accountable and sound political governance will ensure continued prosperity for Rwanda. According to macroeconomic forecasting by the international community, the promotion of domestic savings, as well as increased private sector participation in the country’s output and investment, are critical. Barring another detrimental roadblock, the nation will continue to forge its new, positive post-genocide chapter.
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