International trade in services is increasing over the years. In Rwanda, one of the two service categories that are traded (both import and export) are health and education. For health, some Rwandan residents who need special medical treatment travel abroad to seek medical attention from specialists, while patients from some neighbouring countries come for medical treatment in Rwanda.
For education, the number of Rwandan students studying abroad has increased over time due to more foreign scholarships. Additionally, the amount of private-sponsored students going abroad has also increased due to the attraction of high-quality education in countries in Europe and from the USA, Canada, India, South Korea, and also some East African countries like Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.
On the other hand, the rise of private universities in Rwanda results in foreign students moving to pursue their university studies in Rwanda. Though trade of these services continues to thrive, little or no research has been conducted on how much Rwandan residents are spending abroad on them and how much non-residents are spending on these services in Rwanda. The Government of Rwanda has a National Strategy for Transformation which focuses on key areas earmarked to be the drivers of socio economic transformation in the coming years — one of them being export promotion.
Our research aims at estimating the export of health and education services and look into the impact of COVID-19 on the higher education and healthcare sectors in Rwanda to provide a real picture of these service categories to policymakers.