PROGRAMME FOR COUNTRY PARTNERSHIP
Rwanda is a small landlocked country with a population of over 12 million people. Over the last decade, the country has experienced high economic growth with gross domestic product (GDP) growth averaging about 8%, one of the highest in Africa. Per capita GDP has increased more than threefold, from less than US$ 200 in 1994 to US$ 787 in 2018. The agricultural sector, which accounts for about 28% of the GDP and employs 70% of the population, remains one of the driving forces of the economy, while industry and services generate around 16% and 48% of GDP, respectively.
The Government has implemented various economic and structural reforms over the years, including in the areas of trade, and financial and exchange systems. In 2018, Rwanda ranked second easiest country to do business in Sub-Saharan Africa (World Bank Doing Business Report) and second most competitive country in Africa (Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018).
The Government’s medium- and long-term development agendas are outlined in several strategic documents, including the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1 2017-2024) and the Rwanda Vision 2050 and its mid-term targets for 2035.
UNIDO has implemented over 130 programmes and projects in Rwanda over the years, in areas of industrial policy, industrial competitiveness and trade capacity-building, poverty reduction, environmental protection, agro-industrial development, energy and resource efficiency, and cleaner production.
In October 2018, the Executive Board of UNIDO approved the development of the Programme for Country Partnership (PCP) for Rwanda. The PCP will support the implementation of the National Strategy for Transformation (2017-2024) and the Government’s “Vision 2050”, with a focus on selected priority areas/sectors. It will also align with and support the United Nations Development Assistance Plan for Rwanda covering 2018-2023.
The tentative priority areas of the PCP are: (i) Integrated agro-industrial parks, particularly for fruits and vegetables; (ii) Livestock value chain development; (iii) Garments; and iv) Industry 4.0. The Government conducted feasibility studies with UNIDO’s support for potential priority sectors, such as livestock/leather, and textiles and garments, which will also inform the formulation of the programme. Cross-cutting areas will include technological upgrading to leapfrog in the areas of industrialization, circular economy, and quality control and enhancement.
UNIDO conducted a country diagnostic to help to finalize the PCP priority areas and support the formulation of the PCP for Rwanda. The diagnostic was validated by the Government of Rwanda in 2021, see the press release here.
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT GOALS
Rwanda’s Vision 2050 aims to ensure high living standards for Rwandan people, reaching upper-middle-income status by 2035 and high-income status by 2050. The PCP will support the achievement of this overarching vision and the implementation of the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1: 2017-2024), in particular its Economic Transformation Pillar which seeks to:
- Create 1.5 million decent and productive jobs over the next 7 years (214,000 annually)
- Promote industrialization and high-value exports (17% annual export growth)
- Modernize and increase the productivity of the agriculture and livestock sectors
- Promote sustainable resource management towards a green economy
- Accelerate sustainable urbanization from 18.4% (2016/17) to 35% by 2024
- Establish Rwanda as a globally competitive knowledge-based economy
- Increase domestic savings and position Rwanda as a financial/investment hub
TENTATIVE PRIORITY AREAS
1. INTEGRATED AGRO-PARKS FOR FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
This component will seek to establish a coordinated geographical space for more advanced processing especially for export, while also developing rural micro-processing centers for fruits and vegetables.
1. LIVESTOCK VALUE CHAIN DEVELOPMENT
This component will include meat processing, animal feed processing, the Bugesera Integrated Leather Park, and industrial by-products following the “Cow-in-the-Car” approach.
1. INDUSTRY 4.0
This component will seek to integrate new technologies and automation in industries, and develop new value chains around the Fourth Industrial Revolution for life science and science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
This component will support the upgrade of small and medium-sized enterprises in the garments industry through a holistic value chain approach, from raw material supply to retail sales for markets. In addition, the component will look into making “Made in Rwanda” products more competitive in terms of price and quality, and seek to attract more private investment from private companies.
The Government has proposed a national coordination mechanism to be finalized and formally established in 2021/2022.
Ministerial-level coordination through a National Steering Committee: This will include the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, among others.
Specialized task forces, including: (i) A task force for manufacturing agricultural transformation, include with the participation of the Rwanda Bureau of Standards and the Rwanda Foods and Drugs Authority; (ii) A resource mobilization task force led by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, involving Permanent Secretaries, financial institutions, bilateral donors, foundations, etc.; and (iii) An investment promotion task force involving the Rwanda Development Board.
UNIDO will support the overall coordination of the programme, led by the UNIDO PCP Rwanda Programme Manager, together with a multi-disciplinary team delivering technical assistance.
A number of partners have already expressed their interest to support the PCP Rwanda, including the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Government of China, the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the European Union, the Republic of Korea, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).