Promoting the economy and employment in Rwanda

Project description

Title: Promoting the economy and employment in Rwanda
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Rwanda
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Trade and Industry, MINICOM
Overall term: 2020 to 2022



Despite strong economic growth in recent years, unemployment and underemployment remain major challenges for Rwanda. The majority of the population works in agriculture, and incomes earned in this sector are low. In addition, the number of young people entering the labour market is growing. 

A large proportion of local companies are unregistered micro-enterprises with limited competitive strength and few opportunities to exploit growth potential. Moreover, most of these companies are only creating a small number of jobs at present. At the same time, the professional skills of many job seekers do not match the requirements of the labour market.

Promoting employment and transitioning to a knowledge and service based economy are high on the national development agenda. Rwanda wants to improve professional skills, promote the private sector and shape the labour market in line with requirements. 


Cooperatives and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in selected sectors of the economy are growing and creating new jobs.



The project promotes economic growth and new jobs in the timber, tourism and film value chains. The focus is on the competitiveness of MSMEs and the interplay between different stages of the value chain. The project pursues an approach that combines economic development, labour market measures and needs-based vocational training. The emphasis is also on increasing the economic participation of women and integrating people with disabilities into economic and working life.

The project involves the entire value chains. In addition to key actors in labour market policy, it also advises the Rwanda ICT Chamber to promote digital solutions.

In order to train more specialist and management personnel for SMEs and cooperatives, the project team is working with vocational schools and companies to train teachers and in-company training staff. In addition, needs-based training and developed is supported. Digital solutions for labour market interventions and training and development are also promoted. These include a labour market information system and analysis system and digital solutions for career information and job placement.

To boost the competitive strength of SMEs, cooperatives and self-employed people in the timber industry, companies receive advice in various areas, from operational management to efficient production. In addition, business links between actors working in the various stages of the value chain are strengthened. 

In the film industry, the Rwanda Film Office receives support. This includes setting up a database for professionals, a system for customer relationship management and developing and managing a film fund.

In the tourism sector, the project aims to improve services. The project team advises and trains tour operators in cooperation with the Destination Management Unit of the Chamber of Tourism in Rubavu. This aims to enable providers to develop, market and implement selected travel services.


The project continues the work of the predecessor project, with a different focus:

  • Between June 2016 and December 2019, the predecessor project created 4,671 jobs, 37 percent of which are filled by women. 
  • The job centres in Kigali and Musanze have registered 5,332 jobseekers. Job placement services allowed 1,491 people to find a job or an internship. 
  • In the 2019 school year, 3,085 students were enrolled in the 20 vocational schools supported. The proportion of girls was 40 percent. At the end of the year, 1,028 people who completed sought-after training in the economic sectors of tourism, ICT and timber entered the labour market. 
  • 988 people have participated in needs-based training and development to improve their prospects on the labour market. So far, 573 participants have found employment three months after completing training. The proportion of women is 50 percent. 
  • The project supported the national statistics office in conducting a quarterly Labour Force Survey. The Rwandan labour market information system was developed further based on this data.