Rwanda Attracted over US$1.2 Billion in Foreign Investments in 2020 – Kagame’s Fantasy

By David Himbara

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General Paul Kagame delivering the 2020 state of the state of the union

According to General Paul Kagame, Rwanda’s economy performed exceptionally well in 2020 despite Covid19. Delivering the state of the union on December 21, Kagame made the following claims:

  • Rwanda attracted US$1.2 billion in foreign investments;
  • This investment will create 22,000 new jobs;
  • Rwanda’s agriculture exports earned US$400 million;
  • Some 200,000 new households were connected to electricity;
  • 4G internet connection was expanded across the country;

Kagame is fantasying as usual

Kagame’s claims are fantasies – especially foreign investment. Notice that Kagame uses the term ”registered” to describe US$1.2 billion foreign investments that were supposedly made in Rwanda in 2020. Registeredinvestment is not an actual investment already made in Rwanda but a promise to invest. Put another way, none of the ”investments” Kagame is boasting about have translated into established business operations in Rwanda or acquired assets in existing operations in the country. The so-called investors Kagame is talking about have merely expressed their future intent that may or may not materialize.

Foreign direct investment to Rwanda per World Bank data

Foreign direct investment in Rwanda in the recent past is as follows, according to the World Bank data:

  • 2019: US$420 million
  • 2018: US$301 million
  • 2017: US$270 million
  • 2016: US$266 million
  • 2015: US$223 million.

It is most unlikely that foreign direct investments in 2020 will come even close to the annual figures in the 2015 – 2019 period due to Covid19.