Updated: Mar 13
Rwanda has become a popular destination for international businesses in recent years, thanks to its stable economy, business-friendly environment, and strategic location in East Africa. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at why doing business in Rwanda is a great decision, key business opportunities available, and some of the benefits of investing in this small but dynamic country.
Why Do Business in Rwanda?
Rwanda is a small, landlocked country in Central Africa, but it is one of the most developed countries in the region. Its GDP per capita is one of the highest in East Africa, with an estimated value of $912.99 USD in 2021 (source: Trading Economics), and the government has taken a number of steps to create a business-friendly environment.
Rwanda has a well-connected infrastructure, with reliable power and high-speed internet, which makes it easy for businesses to operate.
In addition, Rwanda has a stable political and economic environment, with a reliable judicial system and a government committed to economic development and liberalization. The country is also strategically located, making it an ideal place to establish a regional headquarters.
Key Business Opportunities
Rwanda offers a variety of business opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors. The country’s agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, and technology sectors are particularly attractive.
Agriculture is an important sector in Rwanda, accounting for about 35% of the country’s GDP (source: World Bank). The government has actively encouraged investment in this sector, with projects such as the National Agriculture Investment Plan.
Manufacturing is another promising sector, with industrial parks offering favorable tax rates and other incentives. The government also supports businesses looking to expand their operations.
Tourism is a major contributor to Rwanda’s economy, with its stunning landscapes and vibrant culture attracting travelers from around the world. This means plenty of opportunities for businesses in the hospitality and tourism sectors.
Rwanda's Energy sector is rapidly expanding with investments in hydroelectric, solar, and geothermal energy. The country has made significant progress in improving access to electricity, with the electrification rate increasing from 10% in 2008 to 52% in 2020. With several hydroelectric plants, including the recently completed Rusumo Falls hydroelectric plant, investments in solar energy, and plans to develop a geothermal power plant, Rwanda is well on its way to achieving its goal of universal access to electricity by 2024.
Rwanda's Technology sector has seen impressive growth in recent years, with a market size of around $80 million USD in 2021 (source: Disrupt Africa). The government has made a significant effort to develop the sector, with initiatives such as the Kigali Innovation City and the establishment of the Rwanda ICT Chamber. Rwanda has become a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship in East Africa, attracting interest from investors and entrepreneurs around the world.
Rwanda's population is estimated to be around 13.3 million people (source: World Bank). The country's retail market is estimated to be worth around $3.3 billion USD in 2021, with an annual growth rate of around 7% (source: Euromonitor International).
Ease of Doing Business
Rwanda's ease of doing business has improved in recent years, with the country ranking 38th out of 190 countries in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Index for 2022, up from 41st in 2021. Starting a business in Rwanda takes an average of two days, compared to the sub-Saharan African average of 22.8 days.
Rwanda has implemented several policies to encourage foreign investment, including the establishment of the Rwanda Development Board, which serves as a one-stop shop for investors.
Benefits of Doing Business in Rwanda
Rwanda offers several benefits to entrepreneurs and investors. For one, it is one of the most affordable places to do business in Africa, with costs up to 30% lower than other East African countries. The country also has a highly skilled and motivated workforce, with one of the best-educated populations in Africa.
Additionally, Rwanda has a growing infrastructure, with ongoing projects such as the Bugesera International Airport, Kigali Innovation City, and Kigali Convention Center. The country also has abundant natural resources, including minerals, timber, and agricultural products.
Overall, Rwanda offers a range of benefits to entrepreneurs and investors, including a stable economy, a business-friendly environment, and a highly skilled workforce.
With key business opportunities in sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, and technology, as well as a growing infrastructure and ease of doing business, Rwanda is an exciting place to invest and do business in Africa.