Last year, while interning and conducting research in Rwanda, I often
mused on the trade-offs in the country’s development and democratic
transformations. While Rwanda certainly has visible signs of
development, the country still ranks low for democratic freedoms, such
as freedom of speech. Now during my time in Mozambique, I pose the
same question. How do democracy and development relate in Sub-Saharan
In terms of recent economic developments, Rwanda has positive
indicators; it experiences steady GDP growth, low inflation rates,
increased financial access, and general macroeconomic stability.
According to the Government of Rwanda’s Vision 2020 plan, the GOR aims
to move the country to middle-income status by the year 2020.
However, Rwanda has far to go regarding of human development.
According to UNDP’s Human Development Index (HDI), Rwanda still ranks
below average for Sub-Saharan African countries with barriers in
health, education, and inequality, a sign that the country may not
reach its 2020 goals. Continue reading