Ideas, Stories, and Profiles

Early in the month of November in twenty-eighteen, the Government of Rwanda and the World Bank launched a joint report that lays out Rwanda's pathway to realise its ambitions: to become a middle-income economy (Vision 2035) and then an upper-income economy (Vision 2050).

The Report is called Future Drivers of Growth in Rwanda: Innovation, Integration, Agglomeration, and Competition and it highlights the four themes in the subtitle as key ingredients for achieving the national goals.

Ultimately, the study also highlights six high-priority areas to fast-track progress: (1) human capital development, (2) export dynamism and regional integration, (3) well-managed urbanization, (4) competitive domestic enterprises, (5) agricultural modernization, and (6) capable and accountable public institutions.

I'll tell you right now, if anyone wants to understand the current challenges Rwanda faces and the best suggestions for change so far, they must read this report. It's not as boring as one might think (I find today's reports to be much more clear and easy to understand, for the general literate person, unlike in the past).

My favourite part is where the authors describe the challenge and what it means in general terms:

As noted, aspirations have been set extremely high, targeting an upper-middle-income Rwanda by 2035 and a high-income economy by 2050. These aspirations translate into double-digit average annual growth rates (more than 10 percent in per capita terms)— targets that will require Rwanda to grow faster than any country (China and Korea included) has in the past.

And what it takes:

The requirements [...] are demanding. Essential ingredients for success are strong leadership, social cohesion, and deep investments in core capabilities — of people, firms, and institutions — to harness the global and technology-related opportunities that are on offer.

And perhaps most significant:

The reform agenda is complex and highly demanding: nothing short of an extraordinary effort will suffice, given the level of Rwanda’s ambition. The hard work begins in classrooms. The country needs a massive effort focusing on human capital development — its own education-focused Marshall Plan — if it is to achieve its income ambitions.

If you think about it, much of the current national projects are informed by this study; which has also informed the current National Strategy for Transformation (NST1: 2017-2024), a seven-year government programme that's being overseen by Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente.

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