Poverty and Development in Rwanda - ROAPE
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Poverty and Development in Rwanda

  • Recently the World Bank published a paper on poverty in Rwanda. The aim of the paper was to deal with the debate started in 2015 by Filip Reyntjens, and which continues on roape.net, on the reliability of Rwandan poverty statistics. Despite the objectives, when properly calculated, the evidence presented by the World Bank actually strongly supports the claim that poverty has increased in Rwanda. Yet the selective and even misleading presentation of supporting empirical evidence by the World Bank is, to say the least, disturbing. Our Rwanda experts ask if the World Bank is guilty of a worrying level of leniency and incompetence, or outright complicity in the manipulation of Rwanda’s official statistics. In September 2018, the World Bank published a paper entitled ‘Revisiting the Poverty Trend in Rwanda 2010/11-2013/14’, the stated aim of which was to resolve [i.e. shut down?] the debate initiated three......

  • In a blogpost on Rwanda’s development, the author argues that the country’s current growth is largely driven by public-debt financed investments in mostly unprofitable prestige projects with questionable long-term development value (hotels, conference centres, luxury housing condos, etc.). In addition, and contrary to the arguments made by Dónal Ring’s recent blogpost on roape.net, the country’s celebrated poverty reduction is highly questionable, and its vaunted development projects are built on brutality, international complicity and lies. ...

  • As part of the on-going ROAPE debate on Rwanda’s contested development, Dónal Ring argues that since the genocide economic growth, poverty reduction and living conditions have improved. The evidence presented on roape.net to back the claims of serious manipulation is not currently forthcoming. However, Ring argues, the regime faces risks based on the developmental model it has adopted....

  • An Ansoms writes about the systemic problems within the ongoing rural transformation process in Rwanda. She points to deeply embedded systemic problems within the country’s ongoing rural transformation. The current model, she argues, is implemented through a rigid top-down authoritarian system and is blindly obsessed with reaching performance targets. Unless these problems are addressed it risks Rwanda’s economic, social and ecological future....

  • A recent ROAPE blog provided evidence of some negative impacts of the agricultural reform in Rwanda, and several ROAPE articles have critiqued claims of success. Chris Huggins author of a new book, Agricultural Reform in Rwanda: Authoritarianism, Markets and Zones of Governance, critically examines the political economy of contemporary agricultural reform in Rwanda....

  • Supported by major international donors, the Rwandan government has lofty ambitions to modernise the agrarian and land sector. These reforms are part of a broader call to implement a Green Revolution across Africa. The authors of this blogpost insist on a more nuanced, in-depth and multi-faceted approach in order to understand the distance between centrally-planned policies and the realities of rural livelihoods....

  • Our latest blogpost on Rwanda’s development myths asks how can total GDP growth average between 6% and 8% annual growth, with incomes in the agricultural sector decreasing for a substantial proportion of farmers. Something is amiss in Rwanda’s GDP growth figures. How has the country managed to fake it for so many years? ...

  • Continuing the debate about Rwandan poverty statistics, Sam Desiere argues that with an inflation rate of 30% - which is more in line with ‘real’ inflation - poverty has increased in Rwanda. His findings raise concerns, not only for Rwanda’s (rural) policies (and poor), but also for international donors that have presented Rwanda as a model for development....

  • The Rwandan government has used its record on poverty reduction and economic growth to legitimize its authoritarian rule and to deflect criticism of its human rights record, just as the previous regime had done up until 1990. Yet as this blogpost shows despite official statistics poverty has actually increased in the country between 5% and 7% points between 2010 and 2014....