The Republic of Rwanda is a hilly, landlocked nation of 12 million people, with the highest population density of Africa at 987 people/km2. In the 2014 Doing Business Report, Rwanda was ranked the most improved economy since 2005. However, given this improvement, 86 percent of primary energy in Rwanda is still derived from direct forest resources and forests provide cooking fuel to more than 90 percent of the population. Furthermore, agriculture in Rwanda is made possible through the protection of the country’s wetlands and watersheds. Agriculture in Rwanda accounts for 36 percent of GDP, 80 percent of employment, and generates nearly half of the country’s export revenue.
While Rwanda continues to face the challenges of managing important ecosystems and developing a pipeline of clean energy projects, governance in these areas has been steadily improving. In less than a generation, Rwanda has moved from a condition of highly degraded landscapes and intense resource use conflict, to a climate of optimism. This progress is embodied in Rwanda’s Vision 2020 plan, which articulates the objective of moving the predominantly subsistence-based agricultural economy to a middle-income, knowledge-based economy by the year 2020.
Rwanda has a total forest cover of 686,636 hectares representing 29% of the land.
In conjunction with the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, and the African Development Bank, Rwanda is partnering with the CIF to leverage FIP, PPCR, and SREP funding. A heavily forested nation, Rwanda intends to utilize FIP funding to build off of its already robust forestry policies to continue to protect its valuable landscapes. PPCR resources in the country will be aimed at protecting water resources and further developing a hydropower industry. SREP will support investments to scale-up renewable energy generation in Rwanda, and facilitate the development of the country’s sustainable energy agenda. Each of these funds are intended to foster an enabling regulatory environment and attractive investment climate for private sector actors that will reduce the barriers for transformational change.