Rwanda’s progress in the fight against poverty has been ranked as the most impactful on the continent since 2005, according to the new African Development Bank’s African Economic Outlook (AEO) 2017.
The 2017 edition of the report noted that Rwanda’s poverty reduction mechanisms have seen the country make the most progress in tackling poverty across the continent.
Among the measures of poverty reduction rolled out by the Government that have contributed to Rwanda’s progress include financial inclusion, social protection programme, gender equality, community health insurance and education access.
Ghana and Liberia led the continent in poverty reduction.
“Since 2005, multidimensional poverty has fallen in 30 out of the 35 African countries with time series data. Rwanda recorded the most progress, followed by Ghana, Liberia and Comoros,” the report’s authors observed.
The report also found that despite not being resource endowed, Rwanda had registered and maintained commendable growth rates largely due to diversification of the economy.
“While Africa’s average growth performance has slowed, there is considerable variation among regions and countries, due in part to the dichotomous structure of African economies. Non-oil-dependent countries have, in particular, recorded sustained positive growth.
“Countries in eastern Africa, including Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania, all recorded GDP growth rates around 6 per cent in 2016,” the report reads in part.
Rwanda also stood out in aspects such as domestic revenue mobilisation at a time when a number of countries depend on foreign funding for their budgets.
The report noted that Rwanda’s tax administration measures have helped reduce tax avoidance and evasion thereby increasing tax-to GDP ratios.
The report’s authors also took note of Rwanda’s gender equality progress which they said had had an impact on overall human development.
“In low gender inequality countries such as Botswana, Mauritius, Namibia, Rwanda and South Africa, women achieve up to 96 per cent of men’s development,” the report noted.
E-Government mechanisms were also found to have taken root and had impact in public administration and public service provision, including services such as business registration.
The role of the Business Development Fund also stood out in decentralising support to small and medium enterprises in the country and promoting rural areas.
The East African region led other regional economic blocs in growth, at 5.3 per cent, despite a slight dip from 6.5 per cent in the previous year. The North African region followed, at 3 per cent.