10 Interesting Facts About Rwanda (Number 9 Might Surprise You)

10 Interesting Facts About Rwanda (Number 9 Might Surprise You)

According to the World Bank Group’s 2015 Doing Business Report, Rwanda is the best performing country in East and Central Africa and third easiest place to do business in Africa.

In July, during a Frontier Investors Dinner with His Excellency Williams Nkurunziza, High Commissioner of the Republic of Rwanda to UK, AB2020  was presented with 10 interesting facts about the ‘land of a thousand hills’. We’ve shared them with you, below.

1. You can start a business in 48 hours in Rwanda. It takes 11.1 days on average in OECD high income countries.

2. Rwanda is leading Africa’s digital revolution. The Smart Kigali initiative will create access to free wireless internet on public buses, in hospitals, taxi parks, commercial buildings and restaurants, while a partnership with Korea Telecom is creating access to 4G for 95% of the population.

3. Between 2001 and 2012, real GDP growth in Rwanda averaged 8.1% per annum. According to the Fitch rating agency, Rwanda is experiencing ‘rapid and inclusive economic growth driven by credible economic policy’.

4. Rwanda has the world’s highest representation of women in parliament. 64% of Rwanda’s members of parliament are women.

5. A dramatic improvement in healthcare delivery and health outcomes has seen life expectancy in Rwanda rise by 10 years in the last decade. Over 90% of Rwandans have access to medical insurance.

6. Rwanda is one of the few African countries on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Net primary school attendance is at over 91%.

7. One million Rwandans overcame poverty between 2006 and 2011. Innovative homegrown development solutions have reduced poverty. For example, the Girinka programme, which provides every poor family in Rwanda with a cow, has reduced malnutrition, increased agricultural productivity and created small business opportunities.

8. In 2007, Rwanda became the first country in the world to legislate an outright ban on plastic bags. It is estimated that the EU produces 3.4m tonnes of plastic bags in a year, creating carbon emissions and dangerous waste.

9. On the last Saturday of every month, every Rwandan, starting with the President, participates in Umuganda, a day of national community service. Through Umuganda, Rwandans have built schools, medical centres, hydroelectric plants, and rehabilitated wetlands to create highly productive agricultural plots, and cleaned their cities, towns and villages – making Kigali one of the cleanest cities in Africa.

10. According to the Ibrahim index of African Governance, Rwanda is one of the only two countries to show consistent overall governance improvements since 2000. It is ranked number one in Africa for Gender, and is one of the top five most improved countries since 2000.

See photos from the Frontier Investors Dinner

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There are 15 comments for this article
  1. Abdoulaye Bah at 1:26 pm

    The view of images related to Rwanda, doesn’t me never indifferent! What this country has achieved since the end of the genocide is incredible. Having been in Kigali 2/3 weeks after the end of this nightmare, mine is direct witnessing of what has been done in 21 years!

    Just Incredible in a landlocked country, without resources and after a tragedy of that magnitude!!!

  2. Abdoulaye Bah at 4:38 pm

    May I translate your feature into French for my personal blog? If you visit it, there are some stories about gouvernance in Africa and in particular Rwanda. I have also some other stories about this fascinating country published on globalvoicesonline.org.

  3. Jovit at 7:55 am

    All this means that with non-corrupt leadership, any other African country can rise and shine. And that’s why Rwandan citizens respect Paul Kagame, their President, so much

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  7. Emmanuel T.Tyson at 7:47 am

    Really impressed with the kind of growth churning out of Rwanda and this is what I believe all African leaders must do to save our continent. Never being there before but my friends who have had the Rwandan experience always talk positive about that country. Thanks for the information Akosua.

  8. LB at 12:02 am

    After serving there in 94/95 with UNIMAR it is great to see how well Rwanda has rebounded – congratulations to the whole country – well done – a definite inspiration to all African countries

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