Between 2011 and 2014 the poverty rate in Rwanda fell from 44.9% to 39.1%. This equates to 660,000 people being lifted out of poverty. Extreme poverty has been reduced from 24.1% to 16.3% over the same period. This is consistent with a long-term pattern. Between 2006 and 2011 poverty fell by over 12% from 56.7% to 44.9% as a million Rwandans saw an improvement in their economic fortunes.
At the same time, inequality in Rwandan society is in decline. The Gini coefficient detects a fall from 0.49 in 2011 to 0.45 in 2014. Over those three years the ratio of the wealthiest 10% to the poorest 10% has shifted from 6.36 to 6.01. President Paul Kagame has saluted the achievements of the Rwandan people and calls for “determination” in the face of new challenges.
What you need to know:
President Paul Kagame aspires to transform Rwanda into a middle-income economy by 2020. The country is the twelfth fastest growing economy in the world. The World Bank has ranked Rwanda as the third most business-friendly African economy.
Over the years the government has embarked upon an expansionary fiscal policy to combat poverty. This has led to improvements in the quality of education, infrastructure and the level of investment.
According to the CIA World Factbook, Rwanda’s GDP per capita has risen from $1,500 in 2012 to $1,700 in 2014. Rwanda’s GDP growth rate was 7% in 2014. It is forecast for a GDP growth rate of 6.5% in 2015.
In 2012, Rwanda completed the first modern Special Economic Zone in the capital Kigali. The aim being to attract investment in agribusiness, information technology, trade, mining and construction.