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GIZ has been operating in Rwanda for more than 40 years. Currently 105 national and 35 international employees, three integrated specialists and 28 development workers are working in the country (as of 31.12.2018).

Rwanda is one of the smallest and most densely populated countries in eastern Africa. The country gained independence in 1962. Since 1959, there have been repeated outbreaks of violence against the Tutsi. A civil war in the 1990s culminated in the genocide of the Tutsi in 1994, in which around one million people were killed. The end of this genocide was followed by difficult years during which almost four million people who had been displaced within the country or fled abroad were repatriated.

The transitional government formed after the genocide implemented numerous reforms that gradually stabilised the country. Elections have been held since 2003. More than half of Rwanda’s members of parliament are women. Notable successes have been achieved in the areas of health care, food security and primary education. Rwanda has achieved most of the Millennium Development Goals. Thanks to its zero-tolerance strategy in the fight against corruption, Rwanda is in fourth place in Africa and 55th worldwide in the Transparency International rankings. Despite the progress that has been achieved in many areas, around 39 per cent of the population lives on less than USD 0.70 a day, and life expectancy is 64 years. Annual population growth remains high at 2.7 per cent.

GIZ resumed its work in Rwanda right after the civil war ended. GIZ is currently working on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in two priority areas:

  • Decentralisation and good governance in Rwanda
  • Economic development and employment promotion

In the area of good governance, GIZ and its partners are working on issues such as the decentralisation of finance and local public financial management. Another area of activity is citizen-oriented, local governance: in this context, support focuses on helping district administrations so that they can provide public services to Rwanda’s population of 11.3 million in an effective, efficient and transparent manner.

In the field of economic development and employment promotion, GIZ is concentrating on job creation and closely combining private sector development, vocational training and employment initiatives as part of its approach. The focus here is on information and communications technology, the timber industry, tourism and the creative sector.

GIZ is also supporting other sectors alongside these priority areas, also on behalf of BMZ: the Promoting a Rights-Based Approach programme is supporting civil-society organisations in Rwanda, the Civil Peace Service programme is promoting conflict transformation and the establishment of peace, the “Energising Development” project is addressing energy generation, and the Economic and Investment Policy project is expanding the capacities of the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank. Recently, GIZ also started to support the ICT Ministry in establishing an African Center for Digital Transformation, for example.

Projects and Programmes

Project evaluations