After the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, the Rwandan government together with different development partners set out to transform the country’s economy using the private sector, as the main engine of growth.
Now its fourteen years down the road and the economy is growing at between 6 per cent and 6.5 per cent. As a matter of fact, all sectors are booming and this year, the economic growth is expected to reach over 8.5 percent.
Inline with some of the government strategies, the Annual Development Partner’s Meeting that took place on November 27 to 28, this week, focused on strategies of empowering and boosting the private sector as a way of propelling the long term development agenda.
Participants noted the urgency of strengthening Public Private Partnerships (PPPs).
“Despite the fact that the country’s economy is growing steadily, we need a stronger collaboration between the government and private sector as this will ensure that long term sustainable development is achieved,” the Prime Minister Bernard Makuza, urged participants at the meeting.
According to James Musoni, the Finance and Economic Planning Minister, PPPs are pivotal in supporting the country’s big infrastructural projects including the planned Dar es Salaam – Kigali railway, the Kampala-Kigali Oil Pipeline and the soon-to-be-constructed International Airport in Bugesera.
The United Nations Resident Coordinator, Aurérien Agbénonci, also emphasised the need for unity in achieving economic growth.
“Continued strong economic growth driven by the private sector is indispensable if poverty reduction is to be accelerated…the processes of economic growth must build on and enable the participation of all segments of society so that every Rwandan citizen can reap the fruits of development,” Agbénonci said.
During the meeting, a performance overview of the country’s economy since last year was revealed. A major observation was that the steady increase in agricultural output has been the driving force of the economy this year.
Such strong growth is a clear cut sign of poverty reduction and pro-poor growth strategies government has undertaken in rural Rwanda.
The government has also implemented different projects to improve basic infrastructure through construction of roads, industries, laying of the fibre optic funded generation of power which is seen as crucial for economic growth in order to spur development and improved performance of the private sector.
Rwanda’s development strategies clearly lay out the vital role of the private sector which prompted the formation of the Private Sector Federation (PSF) - created to promote and represent the interests of the Rwandan business community.
A lot more can still be done through increasing technological facilities as a means of improving quality of production. Through the PPPs, key players in the agricultural sector will have access to financial facilities which are still inaccessible to most people.
In this way, collective efforts towards uplifting Rwanda’s private sector will accelerate hence boosting the country’s economic development.