Rwanda Has Outdone Itself In Producing Bogus Statistics On Foreign Direct Investment

CEO of Rwanda Development Board, Claire Akamanzi, and President Paul Kagame regularly issue ”impressive” but fraudulent statistics, including the latest on foreign direct investment in Rwanda.

By David Himbara

Rwanda’s latest statistics on foreign direct investment (FDI) are embarrassingly fraudulent. As always, the goal is to impress the world on how Rwanda is a successful model of development. The first false claim is that in the last five years, Rwanda received US$5.8 billion. As shown in Table 1, Kigali City is said to have taken the lion’s share of the US$5.8 billion investments. Kigali City Province’s share was US$4 billion or 69% ”in total investment.”

Table 1: Foreign Investment flows into Rwanda by provinces, 2013 — 2017

Screenshot of investments by provinces in Rwanda Development Board’s Annual Report, 2017

Western Province received US$803 million or 14% ”in total investment”. Eastern Province received US$655 million or 11% ”in total investment. Northern Province’s share was US$233 million or 4%. Southern Province with US$111 million or 2% in ”total investment.”

The second bogus claim is that in 2017 alone, Rwanda attracted US$1.2 billion. As shown in Table 2, Europe was purportedly the largest source of FDI in Rwanda with US$713.4 million, followed by Asia with US$186.7 million.

Table 2: Sources of foreign investment flows into by regions, 2017

Screenshot of sources of foreign direct investment in Rwanda Development Board’s Annual Report, 2017

The third largest source of FDI to Rwanda was Africa with US$100.8 million, followed by the Middle East with US$82.4 million and lastly, North America at US$44.5 million.

Rwanda’s data on foreign investment is bogus

Rwanda’s claims of foreign investment of US$5.8 billion in the past five years and US$1.2 billion in 2017 are bogus. The World Bank started gathering data on FDI to Rwanda as far back as 1970 up to 2017 as shown in Table 3. FDI to Rwanda from 1970 to 2017 was US$2.5 billion. In other words, it took 47 years to accumulate the total of US$2.5 billion in FDI. The National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) puts FDI stock in Rwanda even lower than the World Bank. According to BNR, the total stock of FDI in Rwanda is US$1.6 billion. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) puts FDI total stock in Rwanda at US$1.7 billion.

Table 3: Foreign direct investment to Rwanda, 1970–2017

1970 — US$60,000

1971 — US$1,700,000

1972 — US$500,000

1973 — US$2,000,000

1974 — US$2,200,000

1975 — US$3,000,000

1976 — US$5,607,533

1977 — US$4,794,908

1978 — US$4,860,992

1979 — US$13,461,650

1980 — US$17,707,777

1981 — US$19,205,990

1982 — US$20,653,349

1983 — US$10,916,401

1984 — US$15,064,915

1985 — US$14,618,053

1986 — US$17,593,148

1987 — US$17,593,613

1988 — US$21,047,058

1989 — US$15,508,619

1990 — US$7,562,353

1991 — US$4,577,984

1992 — US$2,187,569

1993 — US$5,851,479

1994 — US$1,000

1995 — US$2,212,201

1996 — US$2,218,241

1997 — US$2,598,560

1998 — US$7,089,193

1999 — US$1,725,716

2000 — US$8,319,040

2001 — US$4,634,137

2002 — US$2,610,000

2003 — US$4,700,000

2004 — US$7,700,000

2005 — US$10,500,000

2006 — US$30,643,966

2007 — US$82,283,165

2008 — US$103,346,051

2009 — US$118,670,000

2010 — US$250,504,802

2011 — US$119,105,385

2012 — US$254,963,244

2013 — US$257,642,420

2014 — US$314,742,419

2015 — US$223,334,652

2016 — US$266,300,000

2017 — US$293,413,074

In conclusion

Fabricating statistics in Rwanda is not new. As shown here using the case of FDI statistics, be wary. Rwanda’s statistics are generally cooked. In this particular case, however, the country has outdone itself in producing the most fraudulent numbers yet.

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