Rwanda is a traditional agricultural community, with over
90% of the population engaged in agriculture and cattle
farming. The country has few mineral resources, and
agricultural products account for the majority of the
country's exports. Rwanda's geographical location far from
the sea, with subsequent costly goods transport, has been a
negative factor in the country's economic development.
Furthermore, the war and genocide of the 1990s led to the
demolition of Rwanda's social and economic infrastructure,
and all normal economic life stopped for an extended period,
including most of organized agriculture and virtually all
industrial activity. At the same time, the entire
administrative apparatus disintegrated and the financial
system stopped, while fugitive government forces robbed and
destroyed much on their way to Congo. A large proportion of
the country's educated elite were either killed or fled. A
large part of the cattle, which mainly belonged to the
Tutsis, were slaughtered; At the same time, many Tutsi
migrants returned from neighboring countries with their
After the war, the new government, with foreign aid,
launched a rehabilitation and reconciliation program. It
inherited a foreign debt of approx. $ 1 billion, including
worked to fund the military spending of the allocated
regime. The international community has made significant
contributions to the reconstruction of Rwanda, and the
economic development of the late 1990s was positive. At the
beginning of 2000, the government presented a 20-year
development plan with the goal of increasing GNI per capita
from $ 250 to $ 5,000 by 2020
Agriculture, fishing and fishing
countryaah, Rwanda's economy is dominated by the agricultural sector,
which employs over 90% of the population and traditionally
provides the largest share of the gross domestic product:
normally approx. 50%, but somewhat lower after the war. The
sector also accounts for up to 60% of the export value. Of
the total land area, 40% is cultivated land, 18% is pasture
and 10% is forest. Almost all production is for
self-storage, with little room for production of higher
value goods, for export.
Rwanda is well suited for agriculture, but high
population density has led to it being extensively operated,
with hard pressure on available soil and little use of
mineral fertilizers and limited access to water - and with
declining yield per unit area as a result. The most
important food crops are cooking bananas, then sweet
potatoes, cassava, potatoes, sorghum, rice, maize and beans.
Until 2000, coffee's main agricultural product in terms of
value of GDP and export value (up to 80% of total exports
revenue); then tea became the main export product. The
income from both coffee and tea has varied greatly, both
because of. crop size and world market prices. Long-horned
cattle have traditionally played an important role in
Rwandan livestock farming, but underwent a crisis following
the genocide, when much of the cattle was also slaughtered.
Forestry is operated only on a smaller scale and almost
all harvesting goes directly to fuel.
Fishing and catching is on a small scale, either in Lake
Kivu or in the rivers, but the catch has been rising, thanks
to increased fishing efforts. Hunting is especially
important for the two people.
Rwanda has few mineral resources, and mining has
relatively little significance in the country's economy.
Cashew rides (tin) and some tungsten are extracted and
exported. There are also minor deposits of beryll, colombo-tantalite,
gold and sapphires. In the second half of the 1990s,
Rwanda's mineral exports, including diamonds, increased and
were not recovered in the country. In 2001, a panel of
experts set up by the UN recommended a boycott of Rwandan
minerals, accusing the country of illegally exploiting the
mineral deposits in neighboring Congo, under cover of its
military presence there.
The energy supply is based on hydroelectric power. Rwanda
imports about half of its electricity consumption, but at
the same time has considerable potential for development -
with production also for export. Natural gas deposits have
been found below Lake Kivu at the border with Congo
(formerly Za´re), estimated at approx. 60 000 million m
3, half of which belong to Rwanda. Limited recovery
took place in the 1990s, but the local market is too small
for a larger commercial exploitation of the resource. Plans
for the establishment of gas power plants, in collaboration
with Burundi and Congo, were presented in 2003.
The industry is underdeveloped and consists mainly of
processing of agricultural products and other food
production. The industry, including two textile factories, a
cement factory and other small businesses, stopped
practically entirely as a result of the war and a lack of
investment for subsequent reconstruction.
Rwanda normally has a deficit on the trade balance with
abroad, a situation which was further aggravated by the war.
The price of the country's most important export goods, tea
and coffee, as well as of imported petroleum products,
strongly affects the trade balance. Tea and coffee are the
dominant export goods.
Transport and Communications
The road network of approx. 12,000 km is relatively dense
and of good standard, with main road connections to Burundi,
Congo, Tanzania and Uganda - and from there to Kenya. About.
80% of Rwanda's foreign trade goes through Uganda and Kenya,
substantially to the port of Mombasa. Rwanda does not have a
railway, but a possible development, linked to Burundi,
Tanzania and Uganda, has been discussed. Some shipping takes
place on Lake Kivus. Kigali International Airport.