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Rwanda is a rural, agrarian country with agriculture accounting for about 63% of export earnings, and with some mineral and agro-processing.
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.
In 2015, 39% of the population lived below the poverty line, according to government statistics, compared to 57% in 2006.
The government expansionary fiscal policy to reduce poverty has negatively impacted the currency, though the depreaction was not dramatic as these polcies should lift growth over time.
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 well 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.
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.
English official language.
Medium but one of the lowest in Africa.
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