Rwanda’s 2017 Labour Force Survey Confirms What We Already Know – Kagame’s “Economic Transformation” Is Fake

By David Himbara

The National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) just released its 2017 Labour Force Survey. According to the survey, of the 6,709,000 persons 16 years old, 3,626,000 persons representing 54 percent make up Rwanda’s labour force.

Here is an extraordinary admission. In the words of the Labour Force Survey 2017, 91% of Rwandan workers eke a living in the informal sector:

“There were in total 2,748,000 person with informal employment at main job, constituting almost 91 percent of total employment.”

There is more bad news. Even the formal sector has a large number of informal workers. I quote the Labour Survey 2017 again:

“A significant result was the presence of some 241,000 person with informal jobs in formal sector.”

The following table from the Labour Market Survey 2017 provides more revealing statistics.

Table from the Labour Force Survey 2017
  • Formal sector employees: 431,902
  • Formal sector employers: 12,917
  • Informal sector employers: 26,259

So what does all this mean? It means that Rwanda’s formal economy remains tiny. The World Bank confirms this:

“Going forward, the private sector, which is still largely informal, will have to play a bigger role in ensuring economic growth. Poor infrastructure and lack of access to electricity are some of the major constraints to private investment. As Rwanda’s investment relies significantly on foreign aid, stable inflows of this foreign aid are critical to keep the current high investment rate at around 25% of GDP. In addition, reducing the country’s dependency on foreign aid (which represents 30% to 40% of the budget) through domestic resource mobilization is critical.”

So much for Kagame’s economic miracle.