Rwanda’s economy is projected to grow by 6.8% this financial year, the latest figures have indicated.
In his opening remarks at the 18th National dialogue Umushyikirano council, Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente said that increased production has been due to the Government’s effort to address challenges left behind by COVID-19 pandemic.
The Prime Minister mentioned the Economic Recovery Fund, established by Government in 2021: with funding of over Rwf 350 billion, in its first phase to support people in private sector. This fund benefited those in hotel, transport, Agriculture and other sectors.
A second phase of the fund, worth Rwf 48 billion has also been distributed to support business ventures, also affected by the pandemic.
The Government has also promoted a support policy to manufacturing and construction projects, aimed to enable investors establish companies that produce for both domestic and export.
According to the Prime Minister, this policy has attracted about 106 projects, worth $1.8 billion and it is expected to provide jobs to 36,583 people.
Currently, there are 9 industrial gazetted areas including 156 operational industries and 51 under construction. There are also 53 warehouses and 17 are under construction.
In air transport, the Government procured air cargo planes, with capacity to transport 23 tonnes of products.
With the introduction of Export Growth Fund in 2016, young entrepreneurs have been enabled to access start-ups for export production.
In agriculture sector, the Prime Minister stated that several strategies have been laid to increase production despite having suffered effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors like climate change.
In this context, over 760,000 hectares of land has been consolidated to increase production.
In addressing climate change, the practice of irrigation is also being promoted. This fiscal year, according the the Prime Minister, Government intends to have an addition of 2,096 hectares of irrigated land, to reach 70,222 hectares.
There has also been accessibility to fertilizers by farmers at affordable and subsidized prices, to help farmers have enough produce for international markets.
For the fiscal year 2022/2023, a subsidiary fund of about Rwf 31 billion has been earmarked to support farmers, which is an increment to 93%, compared to the year 2021/2022.
To minimise the importation of fertilizers, Dr. Ngirente said that the Government is constructing a fertilizer blending plant, located in Bugesera district, expected to be complete in August 2023.
Regarding standardizing agricultural products for export, 77 cold rooms have been built by Government and 27 by the private sector. These are meant to preserve perishable produce before exportation.
Gabiro Agribusiness Hub in Nyagatare and Gatsibo is also a project mentioned by the Prime Minister, along with Gako beef project in Bugesera district that are meant to transform Rwanda’s agricultural sector.
As far as education sector is concerned, the country is promoting the Technical Education and Vocational Training (TVET), including through the system of career path development. This prepares students for the new study fields in Bachelor’s of Technology at IPRC-Kigali and Huye.
From September 2023, this process will be spread to other IPRCs, later with the introduction of a Masters course in Technology.
Meanwhile, in the infrastructure, in the last four years (2019-2023), roads covering a distance of 933 kilometres have been constructed and rehabilitated countrywide, including feeder roads.
Other projects mentioned by the Prime Minister include Bugesera airport, Amahoro stadium, Nyabarongo ii and Rusizi ii power projects, Kivu methane gaz, among others.
According to Prime Minister Ngirente, a lot of efforts have been put in promoting the Health sector, with the recent campaign to have all people vaccinated against COVID-19.
Currently, 18% of the population have had their second dose of COVID-19 vaccination.
The number of hospitals, Health centres and posts has increased countrywide. Some of them mentioned by the Prime Minister include those in Nyarugenge, Gatunda, Gatonde and Nyabikenke.
According to the Prime Minister, there are 510 Health Centres, 1,245 posts and 56 hospitals.
The government has also started establishing centres for vaccine manufacturing to curb down COVID-19, Malaria, Tuberculosis, among other diseases.
Special centres for treatment and research on heart diseases and cancer are also being established.