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Rwanda’s Structural change for job creation

Rwanda is attempting major structural change to build a strong society able to provide jobs and futures for all its citizens. Rwanda is moving away from agriculture into service and ICT jobs in the hopes of moving into a medium economy country by 2020.

“Rwanda is investing heavily in developing its human resources. Its Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (2008-2012) wants to have 50% of primary school children with access to one laptop per child, 100% of primary schools equipped with a science corner and 70% of secondary schools with science laboratories to provide high quality, practical science and technology education. In higher education the number of students enrolled in sciences is planned to increase from 21% to 30%. The number of Masters programmes in Science will increase from 80 student places per year to 200 by 2012 and post-doctoral training for PhD holders to 100 per year. Research units in higher learning institutions will be reinforced with six Centers of Excellence in Science and Technology established in six public institutions. Overall the number of scientists, engineers and researchers will have increased to 25 per 10,000 people”

Implications from Institute for the Future:

Rwanda is making big moves from actively working to end dependency on aid, switching from French to English and joining the Common Wealth, and building up ICT infrastructure to boost business opportunities on the global scale.

However, concerns loom large with respect to the tight grip President Kagame has on the country in order to move forward with his long-term plans and big changes, as well as what may happen in the next election when President Kagame is either unwilling to move away from his vision for Rwanda, or if the next president has a starkly different plan for Rwanda. This speaks to the larger problems associated with the long-term changes needed for proper and sustainable development, and the difficulty of fitting that into a westernized political system that is designed only for short-term plans.

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Sources:

Society for International Development, July 2010 pg. 5
http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/SID_July2010.pdf#page=5

French to English language switch and the cultural and diplomatic background:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7Zf3lAVX74&feature=related (video)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/oct/14/rwanda-france (cultural)