In-depth country-focused analysis on Rwanda's economic, political and operational risk environment, complemented by detailed sector insight


Our comprehensive assessment of Rwanda's operating environment and the outlook for its leading sectors are formed by bringing together a wealth of data on global markets that affect Rwanda, as well as the latest industry developments that could impact Rwanda's industries. This unique integrated approach has given us an impeccable track-record for predicting important shifts in the markets, ensuring you’re aware of the latest market opportunities and risks in Rwanda before your competitors.

Country Risk

Rwanda Country Risk

BMI View:

Core Views

  • We maintain an overall positive view for economic growth in Rwanda, forecasting real GDP growth to average 7.1% over the next five years. The government's plans to improve energy and infrastructure will prompt increased levels of fixed investment, underpinning our positive growth outlook. This will follow a weaker growth performance in 2016, as adverse weather conditions weigh on the agricultural sector.

  • Rwanda's budget deficit will remain fairly wide in 2016 as the government boosts spending on further improving the country's business environment. This spending plan is sustainable despite a fall in grants, as government debt remains at manageable levels and real GDP growth will be robust.

  • Rwanda will face continued cross-border violence in the coming quarters given the country's porous borders and a high...

Rwanda Operational Risk Coverage (9)

Rwanda Operational Risk

BMI View:

BMI View: The primary security risk to businesses and investors in Rwanda is the effect that continued political instability in neighbouring Burundi will have on the country. This instability could result in either the re-ignition of ethnic tensions between Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda, or the deterioration of diplomatic tensions between Rwanda and Burundi. Armed rebel groups also remain a threat, in particular the Forces Democratiques de Liberation du Rwanda (FDLR), which remains active in the DRC and occasionally undertakes attacks in...

Rwanda Crime & Security

BMI View:

Rwanda has become a generally safe place for foreign business travellers, expatriate workers and tourists, with the ethnic violence and domestic instability of the 1990s having largely subsided. Despite a persistent threat from low-level terrorist activity, the risk to worker safety or disruption to business operations is low, with the minimal impact of crime also presenting an advantage for investors looking to locate in the country. However, Rwanda's insecure international position, and the continuing activity of rebel and terrorist organisations in the region, continue to pose a threat to the country's stability. Rwanda is therefore placed in the middle of the pack in the Sub-Saharan Africa region in our Crime and Security Risk Index, with its score of 43.0 placing it 17th out of 44 states.

Criminal risks in Rwanda are low by regional standards, and there is no systemic threat to foreign workers in the country. Although violent crimes such...

Rwanda Labour Market

BMI View:

Rwanda has a largely rural, unskilled labour force. Very low secondary and tertiary enrolment rates are significant impediments to the development of a skilled workforce capable of skilled, technical labour. That said, the country has made significant progress towards achieving universal primary education, and we are cautiously optimistic that this will extend to secondary education in the long term. Rwanda scores 46.5 for overall Labour Market Risk, placing it in fourth position out of 44 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, behind Mauritius, Ghana and Seychelles.

Rwanda's labour force is large and predominantly rural and unskilled.. That 85.5% of the working population is in employment is an encouraging sign, indicating a large labour pool and buoyant economy. However, most of this 85% are engaged in subsistence farming, significantly limiting the size of the urban labour pool.

Rwanda scores 46.3 out of 100 for...

Rwanda Logistics

BMI View:

BMI View: Rwanda's lack of logistics options and underdeveloped utilities sector heighten risks for investors seeking to expand into the country. We highlight that the lack of diversification options for supply chains, and the overstretched utilities infrastructure, will continue to cause disruption and pose additional costs to business activities, acting as a drag on growth and hindering the outlook for investors. Furthermore, the cost of exporting and importing will remain elevated due to the country's landlocked status. Consequently, Rwanda is an underperformer in the BMI Logistics Risk Index on both a regional and a global scale. Its score of 30.5 out of 100 places it in a low...

Rwanda Trade & Investment

BMI View:

Despite its open, free-market economy and pro-investment policies, foreign investment options in Rwanda are limited due to its agricultural economy and limited natural resources. More positively, corruption levels are low, red tape is limited, and bureaucratic procedures, contract enforceability and intellectual property rights protection are strong. The country is also open to international trade and investment. That said, Rwanda is significantly affected by its small banking sector and limited foreign investment. Rwanda scores 47.0 out of 100 in our Trade and Investment Risk Index. While this is low in absolute terms, it puts Rwanda in ninth position regionally, between Zambia and Swaziland (on 49.4 and 45.0 points respectively).

Foreign investment in Rwanda is very limited. This is largely due to the very limited foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country: FDI accounts for only 10.5% of Rwanda's total GDP. In large part this can be...

Rwanda Industry Coverage (2)


Rwanda Telecommunications

BMI View:

BMI View: The Q1 2016 East Africa report analyses the latest industry, regulatory and macroeconomic developments within the telecommunications markets in Burundi, Ethiopia, Malawi, Rwanda, South Sudan and Sudan. These six markets are characterised by several challenging business dynamics, including low consumer spending power, high infrastructure costs, large rural populations with poor access and, some cases, politically volatile environments. Limited competition in several of these markets, along with unfavourable fiscal regimes, creates considerable downside risks to market growth. 3G and 4G subscriber penetration rates, as well as their share of total mobile subscriber bases, are expected to remain among the lowest in the world for the foreseeable future.

3G And 4G Subscribers to Increase Share of Total Mobile Market
East Africa Mobile Market Forecasts

Rwanda Telecommunications

BMI View:

BMI View: Rwanda has a competitive mobile telephony market with three network operators MTN, Tigo and Airtel helping to drive subscriber growth. In addition, growing demand for data services and the availability of new low-cost internet-enabled devices should positively impact on 3G and 4G subscriber uptake, as well as the growth of data revenues. We expect Rwanda's internet sector to benefit from operator investments in wireless data networks and new investment in FTTH infrastructure. Over our forecast period we expect Rwanda's internet sector to benefit from government investment in terrestrial fibre-optic and LTE networks.

Latest Updates & Industry Developments

  • The Rwandan mobile market saw a net increase of 1.01mn mobile...

Latest Rwanda Articles

  • With global growth continuing to stutter amid unconvincing growth performan...

  • A few key themes stand out when comparing BMI's forecasts against Bloomberg...

  • We have upgraded our oil price forecast this month with markets having pric...

Latest Rwanda Blogs

  • The buzz around East African geothermal energy has been increasing in recen...

Latest Rwanda Podcasts

  • Huge media attention and investment has made Sub-Saharan Africa's tele...

  • Electrification rates in Sub-Saharan Africa are the lowest in the worl...

  • Africa's telecommunications sector has grown by leaps and bounds in re...


Download PDF

By submitting this form you are acknowledging that you have read and understood our Privacy Policy.

Thank you for your interest

You will shortly receive your free executive summary by email.