For a lot of the world, Rwanda is still associated with genocide, but more than 20 years have passed since the 1994 tragedy. During that time, Rwanda has seen stunning growth in its economy and infrastructure, driven by President Paul Kagame, who — love him or hate him — loves technology. Rwanda’s presence has become a bit louder. Here are 12 reasons why investors are taking notice of Rwanda.
Rwanda released its first global bond in USD in April 2013. According to Homestrings.com, the $400 million, 10-year issue matures on May 2, 2023, with a semi-annual coupon of 6.625 percent. Proceeds will be funneled back into Rwanda’s economical growth. On Nov. 2 Rwanda announced it will sell a three-year treasury bond worth $20 million this month, Reuters reported.
Rwanda’s tourism industry saw a 3 percent rise between 2013 and 2014. The country is undertaking several tourism initiatives in the hopes of more than doubling that increase by 2016. These include religious tourism, caves tourism, building a cable car on Kalisimbi Mountain, installing boat services on Lake Kivu and building a cultural village.
Between 2010 and 2014, the country saw an average 8 percent annual economic growth. Economic analyst Amadou Sy says the country has outperformed most others in the region in terms of indebtedness, inflation and growth.
According to NTTimes.com, in 2013 the Rwandan government is building a 4G network that would cover 95 percent of the country. Getting the word out about new businesses will become increasingly easier.
The World Bank ranked Rwanda 32 out of 189 countries worldwide for ease of doing business. The rankings consider factors like ease of starting a business, paying taxes and trading across borders.
Rwandan government officials are using social media to connect with entrepreneurs. One tech startup in Rwanda called HeHe had some questions regarding their operations. HeHe reached out to a minister directly on Twitter and got a response.
Within nine years on the stock exchange, two Rwandan companies have had public offerings, and the country’s share index has gone up 44 percent.
The country has been focusing on developing smoother, cleaner roads, making transportation to and through it easier. Add to that that it’s becoming a logistics hub and the country should see more local and international visitors (read: consumers).
Mega chains like Wal-Mart and Carrefour are looking into opening branches in Rwanda. With each of these chains usually forming the nucleus of malls and shopping centers, they could attract more development to Rwanda.
Wal-Mart has taken a very active role in the country. Through its foundation, the company puts on farmer training programs, teaching farmers about agricultural techniques, emphasizing the production of corn, beans and dairy farming. Wal-Mart selected Rwanda as a beneficiary because of its emerging economy.
According to a member of the Developmental Council of Rwanda, the country has put in place not only policies, laws and regulations, but also the infrastructure to help the private sector to develop.
One of President Paul Kagame’s top priorities is bringing down poverty. Through his program Vision 2020, Kagame plans to use modern agriculture, education, information technology and strong governance to achieve this. As of 2011, 66 percent of the goals were on track.
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