Rwanda is also formally known as the Republic of Rwanda, and its location is Middle East Africa, within the African Lakes Region. It has a population of 11,262,564 people with some of the languages including Kinyarwanda, French, English and Rwandan Sign Language. The country is bordered by Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, and Democratic Republic of Congo. The topography of the country is higher above sea level than some of the surrounding countries.
Records show habitation in the region of Rwanda from as early as 8000BC. Rwanda was colonised by both Germany as well as Belgium. The European countries enforced rulings via the kingdom tribes within the country. In 1916, WWI, Rwanda was directly affected with the war and having to cooperate with the two opposing European countries added to the devastating damages. The Tsuti Kingdom was strong and influenced by the Europeans which cause tensions between the Hutu and Tsuti. Later civil war and more tensions across the nations of Rwanda resulted in the 1994 genocide, that has claimed the lives of an estimate 500 000, 1 million people, mostly of Tutsi origin.
Since the genocide in 1994, Rwanda managed to slowly become whole as a country and a nation. The economy steadily grows today with main sectors in agriculture, production and tourism.
Business opportunities & Economy
Most of the country communicates in English and French, and doing business here is easier with minimum language barriers.
The country has managed to experience steady growth since 1994 and relies largely on its natural resources. It exports tea and coffee such as Maraba both locally and internationally. The country’s main export markets include Germany, China and the U.S and the main industries are:
• Media and communications – are major industries in the country as well
• Tourism and hospitality – this is one of the country’s leading sectors also a major contributor of the GDP.
• Local business – some local business are looking to sell to investors to help maintain production due to financial shortages.
• Construction and real estate – this is a lucrative investment that welcomes international investors to build homes for low income earners.
• IT and internet – the progression of a growing economy is venturing into becoming more and more informed within the IT industry. Business prospects lie within this industry including call centres, computer consulting, internet cafes as well as hardware and software.
There are many prospects within Rwanda for local business owners as well as foreigners to invest and grow businesses within a country, set on becoming the “Singapore of Africa” within the year 2020.
The health care system of the country is not as strong as other countries, but receives aid from Partners in Health. The country lacks major facilities and if individuals require emergency care or serious treatment, they will need to be transferred to South Africa or abroad. Medical insurance is imperative when choosing to live and work in the country.
Education in Rwanda is free and children will attend primary and middle school. Some local churches also run private schools with national curriculum. There are a minimum international schools within the country based in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda.
Immigrating to Rwanda is no easy feat and Rwandan immigration permits are tough to acquire, but with that said, the country’s beauty and opportunity are abundant for families and business alike.