Political and Economic Situation

Rwanda is a presidential republic. President Paul Kagame (Rwandan Patriotic Front) has been in office since 2000, and secured re-election with 93.1% of the vote at the last presidential election in 2010, with the next election due in 2017. The country is a member of the East African Community (EAC), which gives it access to the markets of fellow member states Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi. Economic growth in the EAC was 6.5% in 2014.

The country is known for its zero-tolerance approach to corruption, and was in ranked fifth-best destination for investment globally in Foreign Policy magazine’s Baseline Profitability Index. As the result of a stringent programme of economic reform, Rwanda has seen substantial and continuous growth in recent years with mean GDP growth of 6.8% in 2012-2014. The general economic outlook is considered to be positive.

The World Bank ranks Rwanda 46th in its Ease of Doing Business Index, placing it in front of some EU member states. In 2014, GDP stood at USD 7.89 billion (bn) and GDP per capita at USD 696 (both at current exchange rates). Primary industries include cement, agricultural products, small-scale beverages, soap, furniture, shoes, plastic goods, textiles and cigarette manufacturing. Rwanda’s mining industry is an important contributor to the economy, generating revenues of USD 93 million (m) in 2008.

The national currency is the Rwandan Franc (average exchange rates March to September 2015: USD 1 = RWF 707.15, EUR 1 = RWF 783.8).