Accomplishments by Rwanda since 2000:GLASS HALF FULL OR HALF EMPTY?

I got this message in my in-box yesterday.


“Prof DH, why do you always give only bad news about our country? For once give us something positive. After all you are still one of us even though you are hunted for your sharp tongue. Please investigate and share. By the way don’t publish my name….”

Johnny K, sure there have been accomplishments in Rwanda especially since 2000 when we moved from “emergency” phase related to genocide to “development” phase. The point of departure was the launch in the year 2000 of Vision 2020 that is our development road map if you will.


What then in a nutshell has been achieved between 2000 and 2012?

* Rwanda gross domestic product (GDP) increased from US$1.7 in 2000 to US$7.1 in 2012.

* In 2000 agriculture’s share of GDP was 37%. This decreased to 33% in 2012.

* Industry’s contribution to GDP was 14% in 2000 while it stood at 16% in 2012.

* Manufacturing contributed to GDP 7% in 2000 versus 6% in 2012.

* Services accounted for 49% of GDP in 2000 compared to 51% in 2012.

We may briefly sum up the accomplishments as follows:

1) Rwandan GDP increased by over four times;

2) Rwanda became less dependent on agriculture – the role of the sector decreased by 4%;

3) Industry grew by 2%;

4) Services expanded by the 2%;

5) Manufacturing declined by 1%.


So Johnny K, what do you see here from a single but most significant indicator?

The expression “glass half empty or half full” might capture the situation – the picture painted above demonstrates to some “spectacular success” and “outright failure” to others

David Himbara