Teenagers in Rwanda

Rwanda Pioneer in implementing the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement

Rwanda has made remarkable strides in its development in recent years. It is one of the few countries in Africa to have reached the MDGs for the most part, and it is a leader when it comes to implementing the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement.

Straight to
View of Kigali from the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre

The government is development oriented and is very much focused on achieving its ambitious goals with the aim of reforming the country. However, authoritarian government structures have become even more entrenched under President Paul Kagame.

Ethnic conflict between Hutus and Tutsis has been a recurrent theme in Rwanda's history. In 1994, it escalated and resulted in a genocide against the Tutsi minority that is thought to have cost up to one million lives in just 100 days. The genocide, the physical and mental trauma suffered by large parts of the population and the mass displacement and subsequent return of some 3.5 million refugees have had, and continue to have, a lasting impact on Rwanda and have thrown the country back considerably in its development.

Dealing with the aftermath of the genocide remains one of the major challenges for the country. Other challenges include the severe economic and social consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the poverty in rural areas, high population density and land scarcity, the impact of climate change and a huge demand for jobs compounded by a shortage of well-trained people. The current United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) ranks the east African country 165th out of 191 countries.

German development cooperation with Rwanda

Rwanda is one of the bilateral partner countries of Germany's Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The partnership incorporates key concerns of Rwanda’s own development strategies and of the G20 Compact with Africa (External link) initiative.

Under this G20 initiative, Germany has joined with other donors to support Rwanda in improving the environment for private investors. Under this framework, a German Business Desk has, for instance, been set up in Rwanda’s capital Kigali to promote investments in areas relevant to development. The BMZ is cooperating with the Federation of German Industries (BDI) and with German chambers of crafts with a view to fostering the SME sector and dual vocational training.

Germany’s bilateral development cooperation with Rwanda focuses on the following core areas:

  • Sustainable economic development, training and employment
  • Climate and energy, just transition
  • Peaceful and inclusive societies
German Development Minister Svenja Schulze and Dr Uzziel Ndagijimana, Rwandan Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, after signing the Rwandan-German Climate and Development Partnership in Kigali on 1 March 2022.

In addition, Germany is supporting the work of civil society organisations in the area of human rights in order to strengthen the rights of especially disadvantaged groups vis-à-vis public institutions (for example young people’s, women’s and health rights).

At the government negotiations in November 2020, Germany committed funding of 90.55 million euros to the Republic of Rwanda.

In 2021, the BMZ then made additional funds available for several purposes: addressing the COVID-19 pandemic; for the new climate and development partnership to support Rwanda’s implementation of its nationally determined contributions (NDC); to support climate-smart urban development and sustainable waste management and the circular economy; and for the Special Initiative “Decent Work for a Just Transition”.

Other areas of cooperation

Vaccine against COVID-19
Interior view of the "Digital Transformation Center Kigali" (still from a virtual tour)
Two trainees in metal construction at the Integrated Polytechnical Regional College (IPRC) in Kigali, Rwanda, operate a machine.

Core area “Sustainable economic development, training and employment” Training skilled workers, creating new jobs Internal link

Roughly 40 per cent of Rwanda’s population are under the age of 15. Creating jobs and opportunities for the young generation does not only contribute to reducing poverty, it is also an important prerequisite for social peace, security and stability in the country.

Solar panels east of Kigali, Ruanda

Core area “Climate and energy, just transition” Adaptation to climate change and environmentally friendly urban development Internal link

Cooperation in the core area “Climate and energy, just transition” was agreed at the German-Rwandan government negotiations in 2020. It is a key element of the new strategic cooperation on climate action between Germany and Rwanda.

Village shops in Rwanda

Core area “Peaceful and inclusive societies” More public participation in municipalities Internal link

More than 80 per cent of Rwandans live in rural areas. Germany is supporting efforts to strengthen local government in order to improve living conditions for those people. The authorities at district and municipal level know best where improvements in local infrastructure are required and what kind of public services are most needed.

Current situation

View of Kigali from the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre
Street stall in Rwanda selling carrots
At the Petite Barrière border crossing between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, there is a lively cross-border trade exchange.

As at: 23/02/2022