70% of the Rwandan population is engaged in agriculture. The sector contributes 29% of the country’s GDP. Because of the scarcity of farming land, the country’s focus is to increase productivity by emphasising high quality crops such as maize, potatoes, wheat, beans, peas, cassava and soya. The adopted ICT for Rwanda Agriculture policy (ICT4RAg) aims at encouraging various players in the ICT and agriculture sectors to develop solutions related to weather reports, pest and disease control, storage facilities, market availability, soil health & soil nutrients, teaching new farming techniques, provision of funding & credit services and pollution control. A key example is the current adoption of the Smart Nkunganire System (SNS) in rural parts of the country. This system was launched in 2018 to digitalise the end-to-end value chain of the Government’s Nkunganire Programme, an inputs subsidy programme.
The industrial sector contributes 16% of the country’s total production with targets in place to reach 26% by 2020. This ambitious goal is one reason behind the “Made in Rwanda (MIR)” policy, which aims to increase Rwanda’s economic competitiveness through developing efficient & high quality value chains. The MIR encourages private stakeholders to establish Community Processing Centres (CPCs) which serve as incubators providing state-of-theart technology, training and an environment for innovative ideas from different entrepreneurs in their respective sectors. The leather, dairy and Irish potatoes CPCs are already operating.
Rwanda is a landlocked country and has very limited natural resources. This is an obstacle to becoming a regional manufacturing hub. However, Rwanda’s location provides a strategic advantage to lead the service sector in the region. Services account for about a half of the country’s production (48%). This is led by retail & wholesale trading and real estate services. Since the tourism sector is the country’s top foreign exchange earner, Rwanda has started the “Visit Rwanda” campaign, partnering with leading British and French soccer teams to boost the country’s brand and attract more tourists. The tech industry’s production remains small, at 1% of the total production. The surging number of tech solutions in businesses makes ICT-based solutions the fastest growing services sector in the country.