Rwanda Vision 2020

The Vision 2020 is a reflection of our aspiration and determination as Rwandans, to construct a united, democratic and inclusive Rwandan identity, after so many years of authoritarian and exclusivist dispensation. We aim, through this Vision, to transform our country into a middle – income nation in which Rwandans are healthier, educated and generally more prosperous. The Rwanda we seek is one that is united and competitive both regionally and globally.

To achieve this, the Vision 2020 identifies six interwoven pillars, including good governance and efficient State, skilled human capital, vibrant private sector, world -class physical infrastructure and modern agriculture and livestock, all geared towards national, regional and global markets. This Vision is a result of a national consultative process conducted between 1997 and 2000. These discussions and debates involved Rwandans from all walks of life, including leadership of all levels in the business community, government, academia and civil society.

It is important to emphasize the point that this Vision is not only for government. Vision 2020 is a shared purpose for all Rwandans. We need to constantly remind ourselves how our work – in our individual capacities, communities, business and public institutions – contributes towards realizing this Vision. Like all achieving societies whose success is generally inspired by a shared purpose, our Vision 2020 constitutes a bond that holds Rwandans as a people determined to build a better future.

I am certain that Vision 2020 will inspire us to achieve our goals, and that our vision is clearly and powerfully stated – thus setting in motion the vital energy and the sense of urgency needed for its realization. I thank all Rwandans and Friends of Rwanda who will play their part to making our Vision realizable.

President of the Republic of Rwanda

Table of Contents
1. Introduction
2. Current situation and the challenges
2.1. Historical Perspective
2.2. Major challenges facing Rwanda today
3. Major Objectives of Vision 2020
3.1. The Short Term: Promotion of macroeconomic stability and wealth creation to reduce aid dependency
3.2. The Medium Term: Transforming from an agrarian to a knowledge-based economy3.3. Long Term: Creating a productive middle class and fostering entrepreneurship
4. The Pillars of Vision 2020
4.1. Good Governance and a Capable State
4.2. Human Resource Development and a Knowledge-based economy
4.3. Private Sector-led Development.
4.4. Infrastructure Development
4.5. Productive High Value and Market Oriented Agriculture
4.6. Regional and International Integration
5. Cross-cutting issues of Vision 2020
5.1. Gender Equality
5.2. Natural Resources and the Environment
5.3. Science, Technology and ICT
6. The Road
6.1. Rwanda’s Planning Process and the Realisation of Vision 2020
6.2. Financing of Vision 2020: Macroeconomic Assumptions and Projections
6.3 Institutional Framework for the Implementation of the Rwanda Vision
7. Conclusion

1. Introduction
How do Rwandan envisage their future? What kind of society do they want to become? How can they construct a united and inclusive Rwandan identity? What are the transformations needed to emerge from a deeply unsatisfactory social and economic situation? These are the main questions Rwanda Vision 2020 addresses. This Vision is a result of a national consultative process that took place in Village Urugwiro in 1998-99. There was broad consensus on the necessity for Rwandans to clearly define the future of the country. This process provided the basis upon which this Vision was developed.

Today, Rwanda finds itself at a crossroads, moving from the humanitarian assistance phase associated with the 1994 genocide into one of sustainable development. Since 1994, the Government of Rwanda has stabilised the political situation, whilst putting the economy back on track with considerable assistance from development partners. However, the challenges remain daunting.

The Rwandan population is expected to double to around 16 million by 2020. Given that the major aspiration of Vision 2020 is to transform Rwanda’s economy into a middle income country (per capita income of about 900 USD per year, from 220 USD in 2000), this will require an annual growth rate of at least 7%. This will not be achieved unless we transform from a subsistence agriculture economy to a knowledge -based society, with high levels of savings and private investment, thereby reducing the country’s dependence on external aid.

Economic growth, alone, is not sufficient to bring about the necessary rise in the standard of living of the population. To vanquish hunger and poverty, growth must be Pro-Poor, giving all Rwandan’s the chance to gain from the new economic opportunities. Vision 2020 aspires for Rwanda to become a modern, strong and united nation, proud of its fundamental values, politically stable and without discrimination amongst its citizens. In view of the aspirations and challenges outlined above, it is important to develop a new Vision for Rwanda and translate it into an achievable program based on the following pillars:

  • Reconstruction of the nation and its social capital anchored on good governance, underpinned by a capable state;
  • Transformation of agriculture into a productive, high value, market oriented sector, with forward linkages to other sectors;
  • Development of an efficient private sector spearheaded by competitiveness and entrepreneurship;
  • Comprehensive human resources development, encompassing education, health, and ICT Skills, aimed at public sector, private sector and civil society, to be integrated with demographic, health and gender issues;
  • Unless family planning improves, in which case the population is projected to reach 13 million;
  • Infrastructural development, entailing improved transport links, energy and water supplies and ICT networks;
  • Promotion of regional economic integration and cooperation.

At all times, these will be affected by a number of cross-cutting issues including, gender equality and sustainable environmental and natural resource management, and ICT. Vision 2020 is to be achieved in a spirit of social cohesion and equity, underpinned by a capable state. Rwanda’s ongoing development will have, at its core, the Nation’s principal asset – its people.

2. Current situation and the challenges

2.1. Historical Perspective
Although Rwanda has made significant progress from the devastated nation that emerged from the 1994 genocide, it still remains a severely under-developed, agrarian based economy with around 60% of the population living under the poverty line. In order to fully understand the present situation, it is important to appreciate Rwanda in a historical perspective. Since the 11th century, Rwanda existed as a nation founded on a common history of its people, shared values, a single language and culture, extending well beyond the current boarders of the country. The unity of the Rwandan nation was also based on the clan groups and common rites with no discrimination based on ethnicity.

The colonial power, based on an ideology of racial superiority and in collaboration with some religious organisations, exploited the subtle social differences and institutionalized discrimination. These actions distorted the harmonious social structure, creating a false ethnic division with disastrous consequences.

The recent history of Rwanda can be summarised by the following key events:

  • The 1884 Berlin Conference placed the Kingdom of Rwanda under German rule as part of Deutsch Ostafrica (German East Africa);
  • During the subsequent partition of Africa in 1910, a big part of Rwanda was annexed to neighbouring countries. This caused the loss of 1/3 of the Rwandan internal market and a large part of its natural resources;
  • Following the 1st World War and the defeat of Germany, Rwanda was given to Belgium as a trustee territory under the authority of the League of Nations;
  • After the 2nd World War, the League of Nations became the United Nations and Rwanda became a UN Mandate trust territory, under Belgian administration, until 1962;
  • During the colonial period, the Belgian administration applied contemporary Darwinian theories, thereby deeply dividing the people of Rwanda. This unfortunate development can be seen as laying the foundations for periodic mass killings even after independence was gained in 1962, culminating in the 1994 genocide;
  • The RPF put an end to the 1994 genocide and thereafter formed the Government of National Unity (GNU) and the Transitional National Assembly (TNA) in coalition with other political parties to define a new future for Rwanda through democratic institutions

This historical legacy goes some way to explain the challenges that Rwanda faces today. These will be examined individually in the following section.

2.2. Major challenges facing Rwanda today
The economy of Rwanda is currently characterized by internal (budget deficit) and external (Balance of Payments) macroeconomic disequilibria, alongside low savings and investment rates and high unemployment and underemployment. In addition, Rwanda’s exports, composed mainly of tea and coffee – whose prices are subject to fluctuations on the international market – have not been able to cover imports needs.

This overall situation can be best explained by reviewing a number of individual challenges.

a. Diminishing agricultural productivity
Agriculture, accounts for more than 90% of the labour force, yet remains unproductive and largely on a subsistence level. Distribution of arable land now stands at one hectare for every 9 Rwandans and is diminishing due to high birth rates. The obvious consequence is that a substantial number of rural families who subsist on agriculture own less than 1 hectare, which is too small to earn a living. Available pastureland is 350,000 hectares most of which is of poor quality. This results in intense exploitation of the land, with no simultaneous application of corrective measures, most notably through fertilizer use. The net result has been a decline in land productivity and massive environmental degradation, contributing to rampant malnutrition amongst the Rwandan population. Rwandans can no longer subsist on land and ways and means need to be devised to move the economy into the secondary and tertiary sectors.

b. Natural Barriers to trade
Rwanda is land-locked, with long distances from ocean ports; a factor that raises transportation costs for both exports and imports. The country lacks a link to regional railway networks, which means most trade is conducted by road. Poor road quality creates high transportation costs leading to inflated prices of domestically manufactured products, as raw materials used for manufacturing need to be imported. These natural barriers to trade hinder industrial and other forms of development.

c. Narrow economic base
It is clear that increases in the productivity and exports of Coffee and Tea alone, will not be sufficient to build the Rwandan economy. Therefore efforts need to be made to expand the economic base and especially exports. Although there are small pockets of various high value minerals in Rwanda, there is no single natural resource of sufficient quantity that will kick-start the economy. For several decades, the mining sector was largely based on the extraction and export of Cassiterite from several mines and numerous surface operations. Deposits of other minerals such as Wolfram, Colombo-tantalite and Gold do exist, but total reserves are not known. The country does have estimated reserves of 60 billion cubic metres of natural gas in Lake Kivu, but this sector has lacked investments both for effective exploration and profitable exploitation.

d. Weak institutional capacity
Governance, including the management of public resources remains insufficient due to lack of sound institutions and competent personnel. Rather than develop sound systems themselves, past governments continued to rely on foreign technical assistance that was both costly, largely indifferent to domestic long term needs and failed to build local capacities. Although great progress has been made on this front, it still represents a significant hindrance to effective governance.

e. Low level of human resource development
The severe shortage of professional personnel constitutes an obstacle to the development of all sectors. Lack of adequately trained people in agriculture and animal husbandry hampers modernisation of this sector, whilst a shortage technicians and competent managers severely constrains the expansion of the secondary and tertiary sectors. Illiteracy is rampant both amongst the urban and the rural population with 48% of Rwandans unable to read and write. Addressing this situation is made more difficult by the prevalence of major diseases, such as malaria and HIV/AIDS, which together with malnutrition reduce the productivity of the population.

f. Public debt
Rwanda’s public debt constitutes a major obstacle to its economic development. Public debt stands at about US$ 1.5 billion and is larger than current national GDP of US $ 1.3 billion (2000 data). About 75% of public debt is owed to the World Bank and other multilateral lenders. This has been accumulating at a rate higher than the country’s capacity to generate wealth to service the debt. A return to sustainable level of debt, where existing debt can be serviced comfortably without jeopardising the country’s growth prospects, is envisaged for 2015. However, continued debt relief and grant financing by donors will still be needed, at least in the medium term and a significant rise in export earnings is vital to avoid returning to the current situation.

g. Social and Economic Consequences of the Genocide
The 1994 Genocide devastated the Rwandan economy as well as its population. GDP was halved in a single year, eighty percent of the population was plunged into poverty and vast tracts of land and livestock were destroyed. The genocide also exacerbated a number of development constraints, which existed before 1994. The already poorly developed productive infrastructure was completely destroyed and the nation was robbed of a generation of trained teachers, doctors, public servants and private entrepreneurs. Thus, the consequences of genocide have devastated Rwanda’s social, political and economic fabric. Without successful reconciliation, politic al stability and security, private investors will not develop confidence in the country.

3. Major Objectives of Vision 2020
The VISION seeks to fundamentally transform Rwanda into a middle-income country by the year 2020. This will require achieving annual per capita income of US$ 900 (US$ 220 in 2000), a poverty rate of 30% (60.4% n 2000) and an average life expectance of 55 years (49 years in 2000).

Taking into account Rwanda’s extremely scarce resources, prioritisation and sequencing will be crucial. This section shows prioritisation in the short, medium and long run. It acknowledges the interdependencies and complementarities between different policies and developments. For example, industry and service sector development cannot be realised without a competitive stock of skills, infrastructure and financial services. In the short run the key issues of stabilizing the economy, reducing aid dependency and developing exports will be vital. The following section will discuss these in detail.

3.1. The Short Term: Promotion of macroeconomic stability and wealth creation to reduce aid dependency
Rwanda will put into place macroeconomic stabilization policies that are conducive for private sector development. This, together with expanding the domestic resource base and increasing exports, is the only way to lessen aid dependence. The imbalances highlighted in Table1 have been a source of macroeconomic instability and have led to an unsustainable debt burden and dependency on foreign aid. To reduce this dependency it will be crucial to develop effective strategies to expand the tax base, attract foreign investors and address the debt situation. Also, diversification and the development of non-traditional exports need to be promoted, as well as addressing the anti-export bias in public policies.

Envisaged policies, some of which are already being formulated and implemented include trade liberalisation, privatisation, tax reforms, competitive exchange rates and market driven interest rates. Government will desist from providing services that the private sector can deliver more efficiently and competitively. With these policies in place the economy will be able to take up the challenge of transforming from an agrarian subsistence economy into a sophisticated knowledge based society.

3.2. The Medium Term: Transforming from an agrarian to a knowledge -based economy
Even if Rwanda’s agriculture is transformed into a high value/high productivity sector, it will not, on its own, become a satisfactory engine of growth. There has to be an exit strategy from reliance on agriculture into secondary and tertiary sectors. The issue, however, is not simply one of a strategy based on agriculture, industry or services, but rather, identifying Rwanda’s comparative advantage and concentrating strategies towards it. For instance there is a plentiful supply of cheap labour, a large multi-lingual population, a strategic location as the gateway between East and Central Africa as well as its small size, making it easy to build infrastructure (resources permitting).

The industries established would need to address basic needs, for which there is a readily available market, as these products can satisfy local demand and even move towards export. As for services, in the medium to long term, this sector will become the most important engine of Rwanda’s economy. Since Rwanda is landlocked and has limited natural resources, the Government should take a lead role in designing policies geared towards encouraging investment in services, to acquire and maintain a competitive edge in the region.

It should be noted that the elaboration of such policies will not be sufficient to achieve a knowledge based economy. Major infrastructural investment will be required in the areas of energy, water, telecommunication and transport to reduce costs, whilst increasing their quality and reliability. Improvements in education and health standards will be crucial for providing an efficient and productive workforce.

3.3. Long Term: Creating a productive middle class and fostering entrepreneurship
The developmental process and capital formation cannot – in the long run – be achieved by the state or by donor funds alone. While both of these must contribute, the backbone of the process should be a middle class of Rwandan entrepreneurs. Productive entrepreneurship must be fostered to perform its traditional role of creating wealth, employment and vital innovations through opportunities for profit.

Stimulating the private sector, particularly with regard to the promotion of exports and competitiveness is not achievable without broadening and deepening the financial sector such as banking, insurance and the application of information technology. Provision of high quality educational services in sciences and technology will be necessary for consolidating development gains made in the short and medium term. Rwanda should also aim to find a niche market in the region, for example, becoming a telecommunications hub. It is envisaged that with these reforms, Rwanda will transform from a subsistence agricultural economy to a knowledge -based society, with a vibrant class of entrepreneurs. The following section outlines the major stages of this transition.

4. The Pillars of Vision 2020
Whereas section three focussed more on the timing of activities, we will now identify the key aspects of Vision 2020 that have been discussed so far and address them individually. The aspirations of Vision 2020 will be realised around six “Pillars” and will be interwoven with three cross-cutting issues. This section will examine the Pillars, whilst section 5 will address the crosscutting issues.

Pillars of the Vision 2020 and its crosscutting areas
1. Good governance and a capable state
2. Human resource development and a knowledge based economy
3. A private sector-led economy
4. Infrastructure development
5. Productive and Market Oriented Agriculture
6. Regional and International Economic integration.

Pillars of the Vision 2020 Cross-cutting areas of Vision 2020
1. Gender equality
2. Protection of environment and sustainable natural resource management
3. Science and technology, including ICT

4.1. Good Governance and a Capable State
Rwanda will become a modern, united and prosperous nation founded on the positive values of its culture. The nation will be open to the world, including its own Diaspora. Rwandans will be a people, sharing the same vision for the future and ready to contribute to social cohesion, equity and equality of opportunity. The country is committed to being a capable state, characterised by the rule of law that supports and protects all its citizens without discrimination. The state is dedicated to the rights, unity and wellbeing of its people and will ensure the consolidation of the nation and its security.

Social and economic transformation is as much about states as markets. In effect, the role of the state is indispensable for wealth-creation and development. However, currently in Rwanda the low capacity of the state hinders this transformation. This situation calls for rapid development and deployment of public sector skilled human resources, who grasp the needs of other sectors – in particular the private sector – and can translate them into sound policies and strategies. In short, we need a small but effective, flexible public sector that can lay the foundations for Rwanda to be competitive in the modern international economy.

The State will ensure good governance, which can be understood as accountability, transparency and efficiency in deploying scarce resources. But it also means a State respectful of democratic structures and processes and committed to the rule of law and the protection human rights in particular. People’s participation at the grassroots level will be promoted through the decentralisation process, whereby local communities will be empowered in the decision making process, enabling them to address the issues, which affect them, the most.

A reconstruction of the nation of Rwanda and its social capital, anchored on good governance and an effective and capable state is considered a minimal condition to stimulate a harmonious development of other pillars.
It cannot be stressed enough however that the 6 pillars and 3 cross-cutting areas have to be developed in tandem – indeed that was the main message of section 3.

4.2. Human Resource Development and a Knowledge-based economy
Apart from raising the general welfare of the population, improvements in education and health services can be used to build a productive and efficient workforce. This will be essential for Rwanda to become a sophisticated knowledge-based economy.

a. Education
Rwanda is committed to reaching “Universal Education for All”, which is one of the most important Millennium Development Goals. However, there is clearly a need to educate and train people at all levels: primary, secondary and tertiary, with special attention paid to the quality of education. This has been declining, due in a large part to low calibre teaching staff and therefore, the government will organise intensive teacher training programs.

Major emphasis will be placed on vocational and technical training in the fields of technology, engineering and management. This will be targeted at secondary school leavers, as well as various sections of society (with particular emphasis on youth and women). To encourage skills development, micro-credit schemes will be promoted specifically to extend finance to self-employed young technicians. Special emphasis will be given to innovative, small-scale entrepreneurs. To promote efficiency and continuous upgrading of skills, appropriate programs will be launched in the national institutions aimed at on-the-job-training, in -service training and distant learning.

Rwanda lags behind in professional training, with the most acute deficiency being apparent in the fields of applied and natural sciences and ICT. Although the country will continue to rely on imported technology from advanced countries, well-trained, specialised nationals will be essential to run as well as maintain technological systems ranging from medicine and agriculture to industry and telecommunications.

Absolutely crucial for achieving Vision 2020 will be to properly link education policies, with sector development and labour policies. It is crucial to understand that the investment needed for the development of the secondary and tertiary sectors, will not be effective without a skilled labour force.

b. Health and population
The Rwandan population is estimated at about 8 millio n people in 2000 with one of the highest population densities in Africa and a high population growth rate close to 3% per annum. This demographic trend is one of the major causes of the depletion of natural resources and the subsequent poverty and hunger. The demographic dynamic is the result of a number of factors:
(1) the high fertility rate of women, itself linked to
(2) a pro-birth culture
(3) diminishing child death rates
(4) the relatively low general mortality rate, due to a climate and topography unfavourable to diseases.

Rwanda considers its population as its fundamental resource and banks on it for its future development. With the success of current and future population policies, Rwanda projects to reduce the fertility rate within 20 years from 6 to 4.5 children and the population growth rate to 2.2%.
Although the state of health of the Rwandan population has improved significantly over recent years, it is still inadequate. The prevalence of malaria (40% of hospital consultations in health centres) and of HIV -AIDS (13% of the total population) is high and constitutes a major economic problem.

The objectives to be attained in the field of health within the next 20 years include: a reduction in the infant mortality rate from 107 to 50 per 1000 and the maternal mortality rate from 1070 to 200 per 100.000. Life expectancy will have increased from 49 to 55 years, malaria and other potential epidemic diseases will have been controlled and the AIDS prevalence will have been reduced from 13% to 8%.

To achieve these improvements, health policies must be targeted at the poorest members of the population to improve access to healthcare, the quality of that healthcare and to reduce its cost.
Family planning is crucial for reducing both birth rates and the prevalence of HIV/AIDS. Envisaged and current population policies should go hand in hand with strategies to overcome problems in the health sector. Indeed, poverty remains a major cause of poor health and vice versa.

4.3. Private Sector-led Development
For Rwanda’s development the emergence of a viable private sector that can take over as the principle growth engine of the economy, is absolutely key. Not only will such a development be conducive for economic growth, but it will also ensure the emergence of a vibrant middle class of entrepreneurs, which will help develop and embed the principles of democracy. Although foreign direct investment will be encouraged, a local-based business class remains a crucial component of development.

The Government of Rwanda will not be involved in providing services and products that can be delivered more efficiently by the private sector. It is, therefore, committed towards a comprehensive privatisation policy that will help reduce costs and prices and widen consumer choice. The State will only act as a catalyst; ensuring that infrastructure, human resources and legal frameworks are geared towards stimulating economic activity and private investment.

The development of the financial sector will be crucial, as it is currently underdeveloped and poorly adapted to the economic needs of the country. The financial sector must be able to provide the necessary capital for private sector development. The government will also promote local business through the introduction of export processing zones, in which foreign operators could have local partners.

The development of Rwanda’s private sector will not limit itself to the formal sector. The informal sector will also be developed, in such area as retail trade, repair workshops and garages, handicrafts and metal works.
Particular attention will be paid to the labour market. During the 40 years of colonialism, the Rwandan economy has been able to generate only 200,000 jobs outside agriculture. If family planning services improve, the population is still projected to reach 13 million by 2020, of which 7 million people will be earning a living on off-farm activities. Therefore, it will be necessary to create 1,4 million jobs outside agriculture. Given the trends of the Rwandan economy over the past decades, this is clearly a huge challenge, in which the private sector needs to play a pivotal role.

4.4. Infrastructure Development
The rehabilitation and development of infrastructure is a crucial aspect in lowering the costs of doing business in Rwanda, which will attract domestic and foreign investment.

a. Land use management
Land use management is a fundamental tool in development. As Rwanda is characterized by acute land shortage, a land use plan is needed to ensure its optimal utilization in urban and rural development. Currently, Rwanda’s land resources are utilized in an inefficient and unsustainable manner, which limits the profitability of land and infrastructure, whilst aggravating the national capacity to retain rainwater. To address this, a modern land law providing security of tenure and freedom of exchange will be instituted.

Rwanda will pursue a harmonious policy of grouped settlements based on economic activity. Rural settlements organized into active development centres will be equipped with basic infrastructure and services. This system of settlement will serve as an entry point into the development of non-agricultural income generating activities. Land will be reorganized and consolidated so as to create adequate space for modern and viable farming.

b. Urban development
Rwanda is characterized by low but accelerating urbanization. This has happened in a rapid and uncoordinated manner, meaning that social services and employment opportunities are lagging behind. From now until 2010, each town will have regularly updated urban master plans and specific land management plans. The country will develop basic infrastructure in urban centres and in other development poles, enabling the decongestion of agricultural zones. The proportion of those living in towns and cities will increase from 10% in 2000 to 30% in 2020 (from 5% in 1995).
The income differential between towns and rural areas should remain within reasonable
proportions, due to the decentralization of economic activities to the country.

c. Transport
Rwanda is landlocked with high transport costs to the ocean ports of Kenyan and Tanzania. Therefore, it is imperative to develop, alternative lower costs of transport to the sea, notably through a regional rail extension to Isaka, Tanzania and an extension to the Ugandan Railway system. A combined rail and water system that can link to the Banguela Railway will be considered.

Furthermore, a second airport capable of serving, as a regional hub for the great lakes region will be developed. For the internal market, Rwanda has a reliable and safe transport network of feeder roads, however, this will continue to be extended and improved.

d. Communication & ICT
Telecommunication coverage in Rwanda is very low. The communication policy will take advantage of the small size of the country, its high population density and the single local language to attract investors so that the sector can be liberalised. By 2020, Rwanda projects to have internet access at all administrative levels, for all secondary schools and for a large number of primary schools. Telephone services will be widespread in rural areas and efficiency of public services will have increased through the application of e-government principles.

e. Energy
Inadequate and expensive electricity supply constitutes a limiting factor to development. Wood is the source of energy for 99 % of the population, which leads to massive deforestation and soil destruction. Imported petroleum products consume more tha n 40% of foreign exchange. Rwanda will therefore increase energy production and diversify into alternative energy sources.

To achieve this, Rwanda has considerable hydroelectric potential, in addition to large deposits of renewable methane gas in Lake Kivu, estimated at 60 billion cubic metres. In rural areas direct solar energy or photovoltaic energy can be used, whilst up to 1/3 of 155 million tons of peat deposit is currently exploitable. Rwanda projects that by 2020, at least 35 % of the population will be connected to electricity (up from 2% in 2000) and the consumption of wood will decrease from the current 94% to 50% of national energy consumption.

f. Water
Only 52% of Rwandans have access to clean water. Daily consumption of water is estimated at 8.15 litres per person in rural areas, far below the international standard of 20 litres. The country is endowed with reserves that could provide enough water for both consumption and agricultural purposes. These include substantial rainfall (between 900 & 1800 mm per year) and the abundance of lakes, streams and watercourses. Furthermore, there is an abundant supply of high altitude water in the western part of the country, which may be used in providing water by gravity to the southern and south-eastern regions of the country that face water shortages.

In order to achieve the goals for water set out in Vision 2020, the country will have to increase the rate of access to potable water by 2.5 percentage points, annually from the current rate of 52% so that the whole of the Rwandan population will have access to drinkable water by 2020.

g. Waste management
Access to drainage and sewage disposal services is 85% of the population, whilst 64% of latrines do not meet the required hygienic standards. Consumption of dirty and unsafe water is at the origin of various water-borne diseases. The unplanned and disorganized construction of towns without a suitable drainage system exacerbates sanitary problems. Sewerage and rainwater can destroy public roads or stagnate, creating ideal breeding grounds for both human and animal diseases. Since most houses are situated on the summit and on the slopes of hills, water sources are in constant danger of pollution by domestic sewerage and other human activities carried by the stream of water. The environmental impact of deficient waste management is barely taken into account by human settlements and industrial installations By 2020, the rural and urban areas are to have sufficient sewerage and disposal systems. Each town is to be endowed with an adequate unit for treating and compressing solid wastes for disposal. Households will have mastered and be practicing measures of hygiene and waste disposal.

4.5. Productive High Value and Market Oriented Agriculture
Rwanda’s economic policies since independence are said to have targeted agriculture as the main engine of economic growth. However, the agricultural sector has continued to perform poorly, with consistently declining productivity. It will be necessary to formulate and implement realistic developmental policies that move beyond past delusions of viable subsistence -based agriculture.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the most important issue retarding Rwanda’s agricultural development is not land size, but low productivity associated with traditional peasant-based subsistence farming. Agricultural policy orientation will have to be overhauled, promoting intensification so as to increase productivity and achieve growth rates of 4.5 % to 5% per year. This can only happen through the production of high value crops and modern livestock management. The vision aims to replace subsistence farming by a fully monetized, commercial agricultural sector by 2020.

The key policy areas that need urgent attention to bring about this transformation include the following:

  • Institutional and legal reforms to ensure security of land ownership;
  • Development of a market in land assets;
  • Extensive research and extension services;
  • Investment in rural infrastructures;
  • Use of high yielding varieties and intensive input use, especially fertilisers;
  • Promotion of agro-based manufacturing;
  • Environmental control measures to halt the decline in soil fertility;
  • Rural Financing Schemes and Markets

As mentioned above, a viable economic strategy for Rwanda requires diversification away from the agricultural sector. Agriculture will have to be developed to permit spin-off effects, beginning with the development of agro-businesses that can then provide spill-overs into other sectors of the economy. Furthermore, it can be very much expected that the above priority policy areas will not only be supportive to agriculture, but will also benefit the whole of the rural economy.

4.6. Regional and International Integration
Rwanda considers regional economic integration as one of the crucial elements of achieving Vision 2020. To this end, it will be necessary to pursue an open, liberal trade regime, minimizing barriers to trade as well as implementing policies to encourage foreign direct investment. Furthermore, the need to adopt policies to promote competitive enterprises, exports and entrepreneurship rather than protecting failing industries cannot be over-emphasised. Economic zones for ICT based production will be crucial for enhancing competitiveness of Rwandan firms.
The vision of accessing larger regional markets will be accompanied through a program of investing in infrastructure to promote Rwanda as a communication and telecommunication hub. Furthermore, taking advantage of Rwanda’s comparative strategic position should be exploited in terms of entrepot functions in trade and commerce. Export processing zones, coupled with the industrial reforms noted above, will enable the country to consolidate its niche in services and communication sectors and take advantage of growing regional co-operation in the Great Lakes/ Eastern African Region.

5. Cross-cutting issues of Vision 2020
Next to the 6 pillars, there are the three cross-cutting areas of gender, natural resources &
environment and culture, science & technolo gy. These issues will not only be affected by the economic transformation but will also play an important role in achieving the V ision’s development goals.

5.1. Gender Equality
Women make up 53% of the population and participate in subsistence agriculture more than men. They usually feed and provide care for the children and ensure their fundamental education. But until recently, girls were the minority in secondary schools, women had little access to the opportunities available to men and they were poorly represented in decision-making positions. In order to achieve gender equality and equity, Rwanda will continuously update and adapt its laws on gender. It will support education for all, eradicate all forms of discrimination, fight against poverty and practice a positive discrimination policy in favour of women. Gender will be integrated as a cross -cutting issue in all development policies and strategies.

5.2. Natural Resources and the Environment
The major problem in the field of environmental protection in Rwanda is the imbalance between the population and the natural resources (land, water, flora and fauna and non-renewable resources, which have been degrading for decades). This degradation is observed through massive deforestation, the depletion of bio-diversity, erosion and land slides, pollution of waterways and the degradation of fragile ecosystems, such as swamps and wetlands.

The average population growth of 3% per annum during the 80’s to 90’s period was faster than that of agricultural production, estimated at 2.2%. This has led to the occupation of more and more marginal areas and to the rapid and continuous soil degradation of the fragile ecosystems of the country. These environmental problems are exacerbated by the poor location of industries and the direct evacuation of their waste, without any treatment, into waterways and lakes. In order to ensure sustainable development, Rwanda will implement adequate land and water management techniques,
coupled with a sound biodiversity policy.

5.3. Science, Technology and ICT
Rwandans are rightly proud of their cultural roots and the government will ensure that it takes advantage of this heritage in all facets of the development process. However, for this development process to be a success, Rwanda must embrace the future and exploit innovations in Science and technology to complement its cultural strengths.

In Rwanda, the rate of adoption and integration of science and technology in socio-economic life is very low and the shortage of technically qualified professionals is visible at all levels. From now until 2020, Rwanda projects to have adequate, highly skilled scientists and technicians to satisfy the needs of the national economy. There is a need to generate, disseminate and acquire scientific skills as well as technological innovations, in addition to integrating them into the social and economic development drive, detailed above.

In order for Rwanda to achieve this objective, it will have to develop the teaching of science and technology at secondary and university levels. It will facilitate the creation of high and intermediate technology enterprises and develop access to ICT down to the administrative sector level, in accordance with the national ICT plan.

6. The Road Map
This road map lays out how the Rwanda Vision 2020 will be realized through the country’s
planning process. It also establishes a set of yardsticks against which we can measure our progress towards achieving the targets. Macroeconomic projections and the underlying assumptions clearly showing the financing requirements to realize the Vision are also made.

6.1. Rwanda’s Planning Process and the Realisation of Vision 2020
To ensure smooth implementation of the Vision 2020 and achievement of the aspirations described above, it will have to be reflected in the whole planning process and, particularly, medium and short-term instruments. Therefore, the long-term aspirations of the Vision will translate into medium -term programmes of the National Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) as well as the National Investment Strategy (NIS).

The PRS is operationalised through medium -term sector strategies that will inform provincial and district development plans. The sector strategies and the decentralised development plans will be implemented through the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF); three-year fully integrated budgets that mainstream the Public Investment Programmes (PIP) of these agencies and translate into concrete action plans costed through annual budgets. The poverty reduction achieved through the MTEF will be monitored and will feed back into the elaboration of sector and provincial plans.

6.2. Financing of Vision 2020: Macroeconomic Assumptions and Projections
The implementation of the Vision 2020 takes into account the necessity to achieve aspirations of the Rwandans. The assumptions for the macroeconomic perspectives over the period until 2020 can be summarised as follows:

  • The population growth rate is assumed to average 2.7% until 2020;
  • To transform into a middle income country – with per capita income of about 900 USD Rwanda will need to achieve above 7% GDP annual growth rate over the period;
  • Based on the ICOR approach, the country needs to annually invest 30% of GDP in order to achieve the targeted economic growth of 7%;
  • Initially, agriculture is the major engine of growth representing more than 45% of GDP until 2010 whilst industry and services represent 20% and 37% respectively. Afterwards, the industrial and services sectors take over so that by 2020, services will contribute 42%, industry 26% and agriculture 33% of GDP;
  • Private investment would account for an average of 20% of GDP and public investment 8%;
  • The public capital expenditure is assumed to increase to Rwf 605 billion.

This road map highlights the challenges, which Rwanda will face in realising the targets set out in Vision 2020. Specifically, we will have to streamline planning processes so that the Vision is translated into implementable plans, with strong linkages between set priorities and the allocation of resources. It also requires a mobilisation of a substantial amount of financial resources from the state, the donor community and the private sector. If these resources can be efficiently allocated through the planning process, the goals set in this Vision will become attainable.

6.3 Institutional Framework for the Implementation of the Rwanda Vision
The implementation of the Vision 2020 Vision within the ambit of all players: the state, the private sector, civil society, NGOs, decentralised authorities, grassroots communities, Faith-based organisations and development partners. The top most policy making body of Vision 2020 implementation is the Cabinet. The Ministry in charge of Economic Planning coordinates the implementation and monitoring and evaluation of the Vision. It also ensures that Vision 2020 based sector strategic plans and district development plans are developed by all sector ministries and districts. The Ministry will specifically:

  • Coordinate all the activities related to the implementation of the Vision 2020;
  • Mobilise and allocate resources to Vision 2020 priority areas;
  • Support the planning organs and other institutions in charge of implementation of the Vision;
  • Ensure that Vision 2020 based sector strategic plans and district developments are prepared and linked to the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and annual budgets;
  • Ensure the establishment of a monitoring and evaluation framework for Vision;
  • Regularly report to Cabinet on the status of achievement of Vision 2020 objectives and targets.

The Vision 2020 National Consultative Committee will be established to over see and guide the implementation of the Vision and ensure that consensus building around Vision 2020 implementation is realized. The Consultative Committee is a mechanism for stakeholder coordination bringing together Government, Development partners, civil society, private sector and other relevant stakeholders and resource persons to dialogue on the Vision. The Committee will be coordinated and chaired by the Ministry in charge of Economic Planning.

Vision 2020 technical platforms will be established in line with the pillars of the Vision 2020. The rationale is to facilitate coordination of policies and actions of different sectors, and promote dialogue among all stakeholders in order to build consensus as they implement a shared vision. The institutional framework for implementation of Vision 2020 is shown in the organization chart below.

6.3 Institutional Framework for Implementation of Vision 2020
The Ministry in charge of Economic Planning will prepare detailed terms of reference and
definition of tasks and responsibilities for the different technical platforms as well as the National Steering Committee involved in the management of the implementation of the Rwanda Vision 2020.

7. Conclusion
Vision 2020 represents an ambitious plan to raise the people of Rwanda out of poverty and
transform the country into a middle-income economy. Some will say that this is too ambitious and that we are not being realistic when we set this goal. Others say that it is a dream. But, what choice does Rwanda have? To remain in the current situation is simply unacceptable for the Rwandan people. Therefore, there is a need to devise and implement policies as well as mobilize resources to bring about the necessary transformation to achieve the Vision. This is realistic based on the fact that countries with similar unfavourable initial conditions have succeeded. The development experience of the East Asian ‘Tigers’ proves that this dream could be a reality.