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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 2016, increasing its rank from 139 to 62 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 staple crops, dairy and horticulture sectors, USAID help farmers to expand their markets to increase their product’s competitiveness in the region and support private businesses to grow their supply chain network. USAID also supports the growing role of the private sector along the fertilizer supply chain through facilitation of policy reforms to allow the private sector to take the lead in the fertilizer imports and distribution industry.
USAID also is helping Rwanda benefit from regional trade within the East African Community, by improving trade facilitation policies, increasing the competitiveness of Rwandan products and upgrading 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 support resulted in a 46% reduction in time for goods to clear customs; 64% reduction in export release time; and a $225 reduction of import cost per truck.
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. Through the East Africa Trade Investment Hub (EATIH), USAID facilitated the development of the Rwanda AGOA Action plan in 2016. The EATIH 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.
Finally, to promote biodiversity conservation, USAID works in Nyungwe National Park to implement education programs promoting conservation and to foster alternative livelihoods for communities surrounding the park by increasing their access to finance.
Last updated: April 19, 2017