How do Rwandan envisage their future? What kind of society do they want to become? How can they construct a united and inclusive Rwandan identity? What are the transformations needed to emerge from a deeply unsatisfactory social and economic situation? These are the main questions Rwanda Vision 2020 addresses.

This Vision is a result of a national consultative process that took place in Village Urugwiro in 1998-99. There was broad consensus on the necessity for Rwandans to clearly define the future of the country. This process provided the basis upon which this Vision was developed.

Today, Rwanda finds itself at a crossroads, moving from the humanitarian assistance phase associated with the 1994 genocide into one of sustainable development. Since 1994, the Government of Rwanda has stabilised the political situation, whilst putting the economy back on track with considerable assistance from development partners. However, the challenges remain daunting.

The Rwandan population is expected to double to around 16 million by 2020 . Given that the major aspiration of Vision 2020 is to transform Rwanda’s economy into a middle income country (per capita income of about 900 USD per year, from 220 USD in 2000), this will require an annual growth rate of at least 7%. This will not be achieved unless we transform from a subsistence agriculture economy to a knowledge -based society, with high levels of savings and private investment, thereby reducing the country dependence on external aid.

Economic growth, alone, is not sufficient to bring about the necessary rise in the standard of living of the population. To vanquish hunger and poverty, growth must be Pro-Poor, giving all Rwandan’s the chance to gain from the new economic opportunities. Vision 2020 aspires for Rwanda to become a modern, strong and united nation, proud of its fundamental values, politically stable and without discrimination amongst its citizens.

In view of the aspirations and challenges outlined above, it is important to develop a new Vision for Rwanda and translate it into an achievable program based on the following pillars:

Reconstruction of the nation and its social capital anchored on good governance, underpinned by a capable state ;
Transformation of agriculture into a productive, high value, market oriented sector, with forward linkages to other sectors;
Development of an efficient private sector spearheaded by competitiveness and entrepreneurship;
Comprehensive human resources deve lopment, encompassing education, health, and ICT skills aimed at public sector, private sector and civil society. To be integrated with demographic, health and gender issues;
Infrastructural development, entailing improved transport links, energy and water supplies and ICT networks;
Promotion of regional economic integration and cooperation;

At all times, these will be affected by a number of cross-cutting issues including, gender equality and sustainable environmental and natural resource management , and ICT;

Vision 2020 is to be achieved in a spirit of social cohesion and equity, underpinned by a capable state. Rwanda’s ongoing development will have, at its core, the Nation’s principal asset – its people.