The index, which is a joint project of the African Development Bank, the African Union Commission and the Economic Commission for Africa, covers the following dimensions: free movement of persons, trade integration, productive integration, regional interconnections and infrastructure, and macroeconomic policy convergence.

Headline Findings

In part, this is explainable by structural factors such as the landlocked nature of the country, its distance from its major ports (Mombasa and Dar es Salaam), and low, if rapidly rising, per capita incomes. In terms of specific policy measures that could boost its performance, Rwanda could consider continuing efforts to upgrade its the internet infrastructure, reviewing the policy framework to provide greater incentives for Rwandan firms to integrate into regional value-chains.

Rwanda puts a high policy priority in terms of achieving a deeper degree of regional integration, most notably through the East African Community, but also COMESA and, more recently, ECCAS (which it rejoined in May 2015).

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  • Third in EAC (score: 0.55). Eighth in COMESA (score: 0.45).
  • Best performer in EAC is Kenya (score: 0.66).

COMESA

How Rwanda Ranks Within COMESA

Country is a high performer – score is higher than average of countries
Country is an average performer – score is within the average of countries
Country is a low performer –score is below the average of countries
Average score across REC member countries

Compare Rwanda's Dimension Scores

Trade Integration
Regional Infrastructure
Productive Integration
Free Movement of People
Financial & Macroeconomic Integration

EAC

How Rwanda Ranks Within EAC

Country is a high performer – score is higher than average of countries
Country is an average performer – score is within the average of countries
Country is a low performer –score is below the average of countries
Average score across REC member countries

Compare Rwanda's Dimension Scores

Trade Integration
Regional Infrastructure
Productive Integration
Free Movement of People
Financial & Macroeconomic Integration

ECCAS

How Rwanda Ranks Within ECCAS

Country is a high performer – score is higher than average of countries
Country is an average performer – score is within the average of countries
Country is a low performer –score is below the average of countries
Average score across REC member countries

Compare Rwanda's Dimension Scores

Trade Integration
Regional Infrastructure
Productive Integration
Free Movement of People
Financial & Macroeconomic Integration

Analysis of Rwanda's Performance Across Dimensions

Free movement of persons: Rwanda scores strongly in this dimension; it allows nationals of all other African countries to enter visa-free or with a visa on arrival, and it has ratified the relevant EAC instruments concerning free movement of persons, rights of establishment and free movement of workers (although the ratification of the COMESA protocol is still pending).  

Trade integration: Rwanda performs moderately in the dimension of trade integration. Rwanda has an average applied tariff of zero on imports from EAC; and an average applied tariff of just 0.3 per cent on imports from COMESA. In 2013, the country’s imports from EAC amounted to 5 per cent of its GDP, meaning that it ranks second within the bloc on this measure.

Productive integration: Rwanda falls within the group of middle-ranking countries in the regional economic communities of which it is a member in terms of its integration into regional value chains. Rwanda’s share of intermediaries in its imports from the regional economic communities of which it is a member was also high at 21 per cent, ranking  second in the EAC on this measure.

Infrastructure: Rwanda’s infrastructural integration with the rest of the continent appears to be more moderate. Based on the latest available data (2013), Rwanda’s internet bandwidth per capita of around 0.9 megabits per second per person is the nineteenth-highest on the continent. Consistent with the country's service sector hub strategy, the degree of competitiveness in intra-regional transport - particularly air-transport, is also increasing. Around 57 per cent of international flights to and from Rwanda in June 2014 were intra-COMESA. 

  • Free movement of persons: Joint-best performer in EAC with Kenya (score: 0.8).
  • Financial integration and macroeconomic policy convergence: Best performer in EAC (score: 0.5). Fifth in COMESA (0.46).
  • Productive integration: Fourth in EAC (score: 0.41). Best performer in EAC is Kenya with 0.84. Tenth in COMESA (0.42).
  • Infrastructure: Fourth in EAC (score: 0.37).
  • Trade integration: Fourth in EAC (score: 0.69). Best performer in EAC is Kenya with 1. Ninth in COMESA (0.60).