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Rwanda Economy Profile 2017

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Economy - overviewRwanda is a rural, agrarian country with about 35% of the population engaged in subsistence agriculture, and with some mineral and agro-processing. Population density is high but not concentrated in large metropolises – its 13 million people are spread out on a small amount of land (about the size of Vermont and New Hampshire combined). Tourism, minerals, coffee and tea are Rwanda's main sources of foreign exchange. Despite Rwanda's fertile ecosystem, food production often does not keep pace with demand, requiring food imports. Energy shortages, instability in neighboring states, and lack of adequate transportation linkages to other countries continue to handicap private sector growth.

The 1994 genocide decimated Rwanda's fragile economic base, severely impoverished the population, particularly women, and temporarily stalled the country's ability to attract private and external investment. However, Rwanda has made substantial progress in stabilizing and rehabilitating its economy beyond pre-1994 levels. GDP has rebounded with an average annual growth of 6%-8% since 2003 and inflation has been reduced to single digits. In 2015, 39% of the population lived below the poverty line, according to government statistics, compared to 57% in 2006. Mining profits in 2015 were reduced by almost half, owing to the drop in global demand for minerals.

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. In recognition of Rwanda's successful management of its macro economy, in 2010, the IMF graduated Rwanda to a Policy Support Instrument.

The Rwandan Government is seeking to become a regional leader in information and communication technologies. In 2012, Rwanda completed 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, trade and logistics, mining, and construction. In 2016, the government launched an online system to give investors information about public land and its suitability for agricultural development.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$21.97 billion (2016 est.)
$20.73 billion (2015 est.)
$19.39 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$8.341 billion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate6% (2016 est.)
6.9% (2015 est.)
7% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$1,900 (2016 est.)
$1,800 (2015 est.)
$1,700 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving12.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
12.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
15.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 77.8%
government consumption: 11.4%
investment in fixed capital: 26.4%
investment in inventories: 0.6%
exports of goods and services: 13.6%
imports of goods and services: -29.8% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 34.6%
industry: 15.1%
services: 50.3% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line39.1% (2015 est.)
Labor force6.03 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 75.3%
industry: 6.7%
services: 18% (2012 est.)
Unemployment rateNA%
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 4.5%
male: 3.6%
female: 5.2% (2012 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.1%
highest 10%: 43.2% (2011 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index46.8 (2000)
28.9 (1985)
Budgetrevenues: $1.865 billion
expenditures: $2.279 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues22.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-5% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt36.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
33.9% of GDP (2015 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)4.6% (2016 est.)
2.5% (2015 est.)
Central bank discount rate7.75% (31 December 2010)
11.25% (31 December 2008)
Commercial bank prime lending rate17.3% (31 December 2016 est.)
17.33% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$957.3 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.013 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$1.817 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.64 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$1.891 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.337 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
Agriculture - productscoffee, tea, pyrethrum (insecticide made from chrysanthemums), bananas, beans, sorghum, potatoes; livestock
Industriescement, agricultural products, small-scale beverages, soap, furniture, shoes, plastic goods, textiles, cigarettes
Industrial production growth rate6.9% (2016 est.)
Current Account Balance-$1.216 billion (2016 est.)
-$1.105 billion (2015 est.)
Exports$674.9 million (2016 est.)
$683.7 million (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiescoffee, tea, hides, tin ore
Exports - partnersDemocratic Republic of the Congo 19.8%, US 10.8%, China 10.3%, Swaziland 7.9%, Malaysia 7%, Pakistan 6.2%, Germany 5.9%, Thailand 5.5% (2015)
Imports$1.961 billion (2016 est.)
$1.917 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesfoodstuffs, machinery and equipment, steel, petroleum products, cement and construction material
Imports - partnersUganda 15.8%, Kenya 11.8%, India 8.7%, China 8.7%, UAE 8.6%, Russia 6.6%, Tanzania 5.1% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$756.3 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.03 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external$2.442 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.178 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$1.779 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.484 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$25.6 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$25.6 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesRwandan francs (RWF) per US dollar -
787.9 (2016 est.)
720.54 (2015 est.)
720.54 (2014 est.)
680.95 (2013 est.)
616.6 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017

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