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Rwanda has recently enjoyed strong economic growth rates, creating new business prospects and lifting people out of poverty. The Government of Rwanda is actively working to develop the economy and reform the financial and business sectors – improving the business climate dramatically between 2010 and 2014, increasing its rank from 139 to 34 on the annual World Bank Doing Business Report. Rwanda’s major foreign exchange earners include mining, tourism, coffee, and tea, and continued growth in these sectors will be critical for economic development and poverty reduction. USAID investments focus on enhancing private sector competitiveness with a focus on increasing market access and supporting the Government of Rwanda in removing barriers to private sector growth.
In the dairy and pyrethrum sectors, USAID helps farmers increase their production and expand their markets to increase their product’s competitiveness in the region. USAID also supports the growing role of the private sector along the fertilizer supply chain. As the Government of Rwanda steps back and allows the private sector to take the lead in the fertilizer industry, USAID helps entrepreneurs seeking to establish small and medium sized businesses in the sector to access loans and respond to opportunities in fertilizer import, distribution, and retail services.
In 2014, USAID began to focus on helping Rwanda benefit from regional trade within the East African Community, by improving trade facilitation policies and infrastructure at border posts. As a landlocked country, efficient and effective trade with neighbors like Uganda, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of Congo will be essential if Rwanda is to meet its goal of becoming a middle-income country by 2020.
USAID works closely with the Government of Rwanda to implement activities that promote increased trade. USAID’s Trade and Investment Hubs are designed to reinforce regional and bilateral efforts to strengthen Africa's economic competitiveness and assist countries to take greater advantage of the trade opportunities provided by the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and other global trade initiatives. The Trade and Investment Hub programs include trade capacity building, improvements to the private sector enabling environment, better market access and opportunities, trade facilitation, food security programs, and export promotion support for African products.
Learn more: East Africa Trade and Investment Hub
Moving forward, USAID will support the development and implementation of a roadmap for attracting private investment in agriculture, targeting market opportunities to improve and upgrade within key value chains. This work seeks to increase smallholder incomes and assist in moving Rwanda from an agriculture-based economy to a knowledge-based economy.
To promote eco-tourism, USAID works in Nyungwe National Park to improve management and services. These efforts are expected to increase the number of visitors to the park, conserve biodiversity and improve the livelihoods of Rwandans surrounding the park.
This 5-minute video details the work of the USAID Privatization of Rwanda's Fertilizer Import and Distribution System (PReFER) project. Implemented by IFDC, the project is assisting the transfer of responsibility for fertilizer procurement and importation from the government to the private sector. For this shift to occur, a professional network of private sector agro-dealers must be created and a sustainable fertilizer supply and distribution system must be in place.
Last updated: November 10, 2015