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ERIC Number: ED513446
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 33
Abstractor: ERIC
Prospects for Prosperity: Rwanda and the Entrepreneurial Society
Streeter, Ryan; McNaught, Mary
Civic Enterprises
Upon first examination, Rwanda does not seem an ideal place for business investment and development. It is a landlocked country, often described as the "land of a thousand hills," surrounded by neighbors at varying stages of socioeconomic progress and stagnation. Because of the underdeveloped transportation infrastructure and a lack of access to ports, doing business in Rwanda carries a remarkable cost. However, Rwanda has experienced 6.4 percent average growth in GDP between 1996 and 2006. It has seen an increase in foreign direct investment in the past several years, with $467 million in registered, planned investment across several sectors of the society in 2005, up from $232 million in 2004. Furthermore, in each of the interviews conducted for this report and according to accounts by additional thoughtful observers, Rwanda is heralded as a country where anti-corruption efforts, security and accountability are consistently at the forefront of the government's attention. Why, given the barriers to investing or conducting business in Rwanda, is the country showing such clear signs of progress? What does that progress mean for its prospects of attracting business investment from the United States? In an effort to answer that question, the authors conducted interviews with individuals both in Rwanda and the United States in both the private and public sectors, and they researched available literature and data related to the subject. The authors found that the reasons why many people are calling Rwanda a model are fairly straightforward: (1) The Kagame administration has a demonstrated commitment to cleaning up corruption and removing the usual barriers to private business investment in post-conflict and developing nations; (2) The country is intentionally promoting itself as an investment destination as a way to defy the typical donor-recipient relationship. Rwanda is clear that their own sustainable development depends not on foreign aid but on the private investment of companies in developed economies; and (3) The foregoing two factors are generating an enthusiasm among investors and businesses in developed countries that has sustained itself just long enough to signal that, if other developing nations behave similarly, investment is likely to follow. Appendices include: (1) Human Development Index; (2) Economic Indicators and Data; (3) Energy Consumption; and (4) Rwanda Interview Schedule. (Contains 24 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Civic Enterprises; Hudson Institute
Identifiers - Location: Burundi; Rwanda; Tanzania; Uganda