Market News | AFRIWOOD RWANDA 2018

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.

  • East African countries join hands to promote legal logging

    Posted on :Thursday , 22nd March 2018

     In a bid to improve legal timber trade and save legitimate businesses from falling prey to the losses sustained by illegal logging, Eastern African Representatives from across different countries are meeting to discuss the formal launch and implementation of the steering committee for the Zanzibar Declaration on Illegal Trade in Timber and other Forest Products.

     The Zanzibar. . .

  • Milestone deal between Uganda and Tanzania

    Posted on :Thursday , 22nd March 2018

     Dar es Salaam — Trade relations between Uganda and Tanzania have reached another significant milestone, this after the former opted to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Railway Transport Services And Cooperation and Improvement of Ports and Inland Waterways. 

    As per the MoU, Uganda, being one of the East Africa's landlocked countries, will be able to use the p. . .

  • Timber industry in South Africa plans for a positive future

    Posted on :Thursday , 22nd March 2018

    Government experts are mulling over all possible options to ensure revival and strengthening of the sector. The years to come will see increased efficiency and productivity.

     The medium-term outlook for the timber industry is under pressure while the short-term outlook for South Africa’s timber industry looks promising, with positive supply and demand figures. As the total ar. . .

  • Modular homes are making a grand entrance in South Africa

    Posted on :Thursday , 22nd March 2018

     The move from free-standing homes can be linked to high property prices – which shows that South Africans living in the country’s most populated provinces can expect to pay well over a 1 million rand for a home.

     As owners opt for townhouses and flats over free-standing properties South African homes are becoming smaller.

    Most people use them as their main. . .

  • Increasing the logging and export potential of Cameroon

    Posted on :Saturday , 2nd December 2017

     To ensure that only legally sawn wood is used in the country the Center for International Forestry Research has started a campaign

    Cameroon is well known for being an international timber exporter, and as Africa's largest . . .

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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.