Promoting industrialisation in Rwanda: Five ideas and twelve policy actions

  • To attain middle-income status by 2035, Rwanda will have to accelerate the growth of its industrial sector – and maintain double digit annual growth in exports for coming decades. An active industrial policy can help.
  • Industrial policy spans policy domains well beyond the normal purview of a normal commerce and trade ministry. Policy instruments include public investment, tax incentives, technology policy, and investment and export promotion, among others. Coordinating these instruments to produce synergies is the challenge.
  • This note points to five ideas that are central to realising this objective:
    • Promoting industry requires promoting exports.
    • Incentives to investment need to be targeted to be efficient.
    • Industrialisation requires diversification, value addition and quality up grading.
    • Efficient services are critical for industrialisation
    • Industrial policy requires cabinet- level involvement.
  • The government is already working on many of these ideas, so in each of these areas this note suggests specific options for action that may merit discussion.