Rwanda

Country Facts

  • Population: 13 million
  • Life Expectancy: 60 years
  • Literacy Rate: 70%
  • Average Annual Income (GNI): $1,720

Country Overview

Rwanda is a small landlocked country in east-central Africa.  In 1994, a Civil War between ethnic Hutus and Tutsis broke out and escalated into one of the world's most horrific genocides since the Holocaust where nearly a million Rwandans were killed before it ended.  Since then, the country has made strides to bring reconciliation to all peoples.

The economy was devastated by the genocide, but has recovered significantly since then.  Tourism, minerals, coffee, and tea are Rwanda’s main industries, but it is the most densely populated country in Africa and has few natural resources.  90% of the population works in subsistence agriculture.  The country is seeking to transform itself from a low-income agriculture based economy to a knowledge based, service oriented economy by 2020.  The banking, information and communication technology industries are growing in importance.  Nonetheless, general poverty, unemployment and lack of educational opportunities remain major challenges for Rwandans. 

Development

As the country moves toward a service oriented economy, WCF sponsors Business Seminars/Mentorship and English classes to equip local small business owners and entrepreneurs with the practical business skills and knowledge necessary for the sustainable growth of their businesses so that they can support their families and their communities.  Our Seminars and Mentorship programs provide training on topics such as Entrepreneurship, Business Plans, Budgeting, Marketing, Customer Service, Risk Management and Business Ethics.  

 

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The 1994 genocide devastated the economy. Though Rwanda has seen significant growth since then, rebuilding the economy remains a challenge. 39% of the population still lives on less than $1.25 a day. 57% of Rwandans live below the poverty line and 37% live in extreme poverty. As of February 2016, the unemployment rate in Rwanda is 13.2%. Poor infrastructure, lack of technical and managerial skills, and a high cost of doing business pose challenges to small business owners.