Describes how major projects are secured and financed. Explains activities of the multilateral development banks in and other aid-funded projects.
Selling to the Government
Government contracting and purchasing is a significant factor in the Rwandan economy as it addresses infrastructure deficits that include energy, transportation, communications, health, and education. Government spending accounted for 16 percent of Rwanda’s economic activity in 2020 according to National Institute of Statistics for Rwanda (NISR).
In 1997, the government established the National Tender Board, which issues and manages procurement rules, regulations, guidelines, and policies. In 2008, the National Tender Board was replaced by the Rwanda Public Procurement Authority (RPPA), which serves as the government’s procurement agency mandated to ensure transparency in government tenders. On occasion, government entities bypass the RPPA and issue tenders directly. Oversight of government finances is carried out by the Auditor General’s Office, which was established in 1999 to carry out continuous government audits. Annual audits are available online at https://www.oag.gov.rw/index.php?id=2 . For more information, visit the RPPA’s website. Government entities keep annual procurement plans and bidding information on their respective websites.
Rwanda is not a party or an observer to the WTO multilateral Agreement on Government Procurement or a party to a free trade agreement with the United States that contains commitments on government procurement. The United States and Rwanda do have a bilateral investment treaty. Many governments finance public works projects through borrowing from Multilateral Development Banks. Please refer to the “Project Financing” Section in the “Trade and Project Financing” chapter for more information.
U.S. companies bidding on government tenders may also qualify for U.S. Government advocacy. The Advocacy Center, a unit of the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration, coordinates U.S. Government interagency advocacy efforts on behalf of U.S. exporters bidding on public sector contracts with international governments and government agencies. The Advocacy Center works closely with our network of U.S. Commercial Service posts worldwide and inter-agency partners to ensure that exporters of U.S. products and services have the best possible chance of winning government contracts. Advocacy assistance can take many forms, but it often involves the U.S. Embassy or other U.S. Government agencies expressing support for U.S. bidders directly to the foreign government. Consult Advocacy for Foreign Government Contracts for additional information. Please contact the Embassy’s Economic section for more information on how to access the Advocacy Center services.
Financing of Projects
Most major public infrastructure projects are financed by concessional loans and grants from traditional lenders such as the World Bank and the African Development Bank. Chinese and Indian Export–Import banks financed projects in the past. Other bilateral lenders to Rwanda for infrastructure projects include Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), EXIM India, EXIM Korea, Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), JICA, and most recently, the French Development Agency (AFD). Rwanda has also benefited from European Union infrastructure funding from time to time. Local private projects are financed by local commercial banks and the Rwanda Development Bank.
Multilateral Development Banks and Financing Government Sales
The U.S. Commercial Service maintains Commercial Liaison Offices in each of the main multilateral development banks, including the World Bank and African Development Bank. These institutions lend billions of dollars in developing countries on projects aimed at accelerating economic growth and social development by reducing poverty and inequality, improving health and education, and advancing infrastructure development. The Commercial Liaison Offices help American businesses learn how to get involved in bank-funded projects and advocate on behalf of American bidders. Learn more by contacting:
For more information on financing, please find more resources at:
- Commercial Liaison Office to the African Development Bank, https://www.afdb.org/en
- Commercial Liaison Office to the World Bank: https://www.trade.gov/world-bank
- African Development Bank Group: https://www.trade.gov/afdb
- Export-Import Bank of the United States https://www.exim.gov/
- Country Limitation Schedule https://www.exim.gov/tools-for-exporters/country-limitation-schedule
- U.S Development Finance Corporation: https://www.dfc.gov
- The World Bank: https://www.worldbank.org/en/home
- U.S. Trade and Development Agency https://ustda.gov/
- SBA’s Office of International Trade https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/sba-locations/headquarters-offices/office-international-trade
- U.S. Agency for International Development: https://www.usaid.gov/
- USDA Commodity Credit Corporation: https://www.fsa.usda.gov/about-fsa/structure-and-organization/commodity-credit-corporation/index
- Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD): https://www.brd.rw
- Economic Recovery Fund:
- Manufacture and Build to Recover Program:
The government (through RDB) continues to attract domiciliation of alternative funding organizations. In November 2020, the government signed an MOU with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to host the permanent headquarters of Afrexim Fund for Export Development in Africa (FEDA) in Kigali. According to RDB, FEDA will operate as an equity investment fund that provides seed capital to companies in Africa, emphasizing projects that promote intra-African trade, trade-related infrastructure, and value-added exports. According to RDB, the fund will have an initial commitment of $350 million from Afreximbank and is expected to grow to over $1 billion in the future. In October 2020 the government signed a Host Country Agreement with Allan & Gill Gray Philanthropy (AGGP) for Rwanda to host AGGP’S hub in the East Africa region.
A list of licensed Banks in Rwanda may be found at https://www.bnr.rw/financial-stability/bank-supervision/licensed-banks/