Market News | LIGHTEXPO Rwanda 2017

Market News

Why Rwanda is a market to target

Rwanda the land of a thousand hills is also known as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, Rwanda has established the powerful role of entrepreneurship in reconstruction and reconciliation. The country’s annual GDP growth has averaged 8 percent over the past several years, and the percentage of people living in poverty has declined significantly. Rwanda aims to become what it describes as a “knowledge-based, service-oriented economy with middle-income country status” within the next few years.

Rwanda has a population of 11.8 million people and a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of USD 8.096 billion dollars. Rwanda’s economy flourished by an average of 8 percent annually from 2002 to 2012, and then 6.9 percent growth in 2015 and 5.9 percent growth in 2016. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects Rwanda’s GDP to grow between 6-7 percent in 2017 and 2018.

There are many clear big picture economic signs that lead us to believe that Rwanda is the next country to target for conducting business. Here are some of the signs:-

  1. Inflation remains below 8 percent (pushed up from 5% in 2016).
  2. The country maintains its reputation for low corruption
  3. Rwanda's debt-to-GDP ratio at 40 percent is relatively low
  4. The percentage of foreign assistance in the country’s annual budget has dropped from over 80 percent a decade ago to 38 percent in 2016/2017 National Budget
  5. Rwanda enjoys relatively high rankings in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Index, which ranked Rwanda 59th out of 190 economies in the 2016 report—second-best in sub-Saharan Africa behind Mauritius.

Leading sectors in Rwanda include energy, agriculture, trade, hospitality and financial services. Rwanda’s economy is essentially rural and heavily dependent on agriculture but they have big plans to change things. Strong and steady growth in the services sector particularly construction and tourism have contributed immensely to overall economic growth.

The government’s economic priority is turning Rwanda into a regional trade, logistics, and conference hub. Pillars of this progress include the construction of several new international business class hotels and a convention centre in downtown Kigali and expanding and investing in the fleet for the national carrier RwandaAir.

When we talk about the exports, Rwanda’s exports increased by 7.4 percent year-on-year in 2016, reaching USD 621.6 million according to UN ComTrade data. Commodities, mainly gold, tin, tantalum, tungsten, tea, and coffee, got over 48 percent of its export revenue. Rwanda earned USD 73.5 million from tea exports in 2016, a nine percent increase from 2015.

Over the same period, coffee accounted for USD 59.5 million worth of exports, down seven percent from the previous year. Major markets for coffee exports are the United States and Europe, while the Middle East and Pakistan are the main buyers of Rwandan tea. 

Tourism was, for the first time in 2016 the country’s leading foreign exchange earner with total revenues estimated at USD 390 million in 2016, according to the National Bank of Rwanda. 
Leisure tourism and Business tourism played pivotal roles in this upsurge. They are the highest income generating sectors. The escalation of Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE) led to the same.

When it comes to crime rates Rwanda’s strong police and military provide a security umbrella that minimizes potential criminal activity and political conflicts. 
Rwanda is not for the short-term investor, but there are opportunities to be pursued over the long haul.

  • Officials break ground on Rwanda's 3.6-MW Musanze small hydropower project

    Posted on :Wednesday , 9th August 2017

     Work on Rwanda's 3.6-MW Musanze hydroelectric project is now under way following a groundbreaking ceremony held earlier this week.

     
    The small hydropower plant is to be located on the Mukungwa River and will actually be built in two phases. The first, a 2.6 MW project called Rwaza 1, is expected to be completed within 18 months, while a second 1 MW addition bein. . .

  • East Africa: Lighting East Africa

    Posted on :Wednesday , 9th August 2017

     In East Africa, more than 200 million people are off the grid, accounting for around 80 per cent of its population. Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda are among the most populous countries in the region, and have the largest populations both with and without access to electricity. The region, much like the rest of Africa, has continued to display a diverse range of economic and energy sector deve. . .

  • Police light more villages with solar energy

    Posted on :Wednesday , 9th August 2017

     One of the many community development activities that Rwanda National Police (RNP) is currently engaged in as part of the ‘Police Week 2017’, is to connect at least one village with solar home systems, in each of the 30 districts across the country.

     
    On Friday, Kirebe Village in Rwimiyaga Sector, Nyagatare District, and Cyabuti Village of Suti Cell,. . .

  • Leapfrogging into the light

    Posted on :Wednesday , 9th August 2017

    Mobile phones were the “leapfrog” infrastructure of the last decade. They allowed governments and companies in developing countries to skip installing landline systems underground.
     
    Off-grid solar home systems are proving to be the leapfrog infrastructure of the current decade. They have helped the government of Rwanda, for example, to switch its role. . .

  • Expogroup Wins Big at the Tanzania Leadership Awards 2016

    Posted on :Friday , 3rd February 2017

      On the evening of Friday 27th January 2017, members of the business community in Tanzania gathered at the Hyatt Regency Hotel to celebrate the most accomplished businesses of 2016. The event was the Tanzania Leadership Awards (TLA), which honors successful businesses that range from conglomerates with more than 500 employees, to small start-ups with a staff count of 2 to 4 employees. . .

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