Increasing political turmoil in neighbouring Burundi and DRC has not significantly affected the security situation in Rwanda. Civilian authorities maintained effective control over security forces. There are functioning mechanisms to investigate and punish abuse and corruption. In a referendum in December 2015, Rwandan citizens voted in favour of constitutional amendments that allow President Paul Kagame to run for a third term in 2017 and two additional five-year terms thereafter. Due to restrictions on media, freedom of speech and the operation of opposition parties, there is generally no level playing field for free and fair elections. On the economic front, Rwanda met hard headwinds. A severe drought in the Eastern province affected food production. Continued low prices for minerals, coffee and tea led to a severe shortfall in foreign revenues, which negatively impacted imports and economic growth. Genuine economic growth in the second half of 2016 almost grinded to a halt. Reduced government spending also contributed to this slowdown. Nevertheless, the programmes supported by the Netherlands managed to realise positive results in the fields of Food Security, Security and Rule of Law and Women's Rights and Gender Equality. This resulted in a further reduction of stunting among children, increased access to justice and greater gender equality. In addition, social indicators, such as access to education and health, further improved.

Featured project

Food and Nutrition Security in Rwanda

Extreme poverty in Rwanda has dropped significantly in recent years and is expected to be reduced to zero in the near future. Investments made in the food security programme have contributed to this trend.

Key results of the embassy in Rwanda

Food & Nutrition Security

Indicator Score Progress

Total number of undernourished children reached

190,000 On track
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

Reduction of malnutrition was supported in 10 districts with high rates of chronic malnutrition for three years through support to the UNICEF programme. Stunting in children under five in these districts fell from 40.5% (baseline) to 36.5% at the end of 2016. On a national level, Rwanda has made good progress in reducing stunting but the level (37%) remains high and will need additional efforts to meet the target of 33% in 2017.

Number of feeder roads rehabilitated and maintained

827 On track
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

Local economic development and the reduction of harvest losses very much depend on improved rural infrastructure. Rehabilitation and proper maintenance of rural roads has from 2014 till 2016 contributed to facilitate better access to markets for farmers, thereby improving their income and food security. Agriculture is a critical driver of economic growth and poverty reduction in Rwanda and accounts for 33% of GDP. The sector has contributed to a 35% decline in poverty over the past decade. The well-established policy of facilitating enhanced access to better agricultural inputs has greatly contributed to the positive agriculture sector performance.

Security & Rule of Law

Indicator Score Progress

Number of people with increased access to justice (informal) (meaning those who have used informal justice systems)

40,308 On track
40,308 people (of which 7% from NL sector budget support)
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

Abunzi (local mediation committees) have proven to be successful and strengthen the delivery of justice services. This decreases pressure on the judiciary by promoting mediation.

Number of civil, commercial and criminal cases processed

48,427 On track
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

A strong effort is being made to reduce the number of backlog cases. Between July 2016 and March 2017 75,8% of the cases were processed. This enhances people's confidence in the justice system, contributes to social justice and improves the business climate. Several measures have been put in place to address bottlenecks and to speed up implementations (such as extra measures to strengthen the recovery of assets). It is expected that these measures will have the desired effect in 2017. However, backlogs still exist that are not being addressed by concrete measures. Regular contact and close monitoring is needed to evaluate progress in these sectors.


Indicator Score Progress

Number of river basins with water allocation/flow management plans that are ecologically and socio-economically sustainable

no data Progress, not on track
No data (yet) available
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

Discussions and negotiations to establish a common shared vision of river basin management among upstream-downstream countries were initiated in 2016 and the catchment plan will be finalised in 2017. The target is to establish four plans.

Women's Rights & Gender Equality

Indicator Score Progress

Number of One Stop Centres established in relation to Gender Based Violence

23 On track
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

The One Stop Centres for Gender Based Violence play an important role in raising awareness among the population of the importance of combating and preventing gender based violence. All 23 centres (cumulative) are operational.

Background & future

Interpretation of the results in context

In general, the programme implementations are on track. The implementation of the water programme met with some delays but anti-erosion measures and landscape rehabilitation activities were initiated. The Justice, Reconciliation and Law & Order Sector (JRLOS) continued to gain strength in 2016. Despite budgetary constraints, it succeeded in working on enhanced rule of law, access to justice and improved court case management, among others. Co-operation with CSOs active in the field of justice continued, but greater focus is needed on studies for evidence on and increased participation in the policy dialogue. This will lead to increased quality of the justice system, as all stakeholders work towards the enhancement of those areas that need improvement, such as the quality of laws and court cases.

Glimpse into the future

In close co-operation with central and local authorities, the embassy is developing a new programme aimed at Landscape Rehabilitation in one of the pilot areas of the ongoing Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) programme. The Landscape Rehabilitation programme will tackle the issue of land degradation, erosion, deforestation and decreasing soil fertility, in combination with a value chain development programme, to increaser farm income and ensure the sustainability of results.

Rule of law
The JRLOS needs to focus more on enhancing efficiency within the sector. The Netherlands continues to monitor the follow-up of the 50 recommendations made by the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Human Rights Council, which were accepted by Rwanda. Furthermore, the Netherlands and the JRLOS continue their dialogue within the justice sector and on important human rights issues.

The EU and its member states will continue to conduct a political dialogue with Rwandan authorities on the upcoming elections. The elections will be monitored by the EU and its member states.

Private sector development (PSD)
An evaluation of the programme to support local economic development clearly indicated that this programme resulted in substantial improvements in economic conditions in rural areas. Since 80% of the poor in Rwanda live in rural areas, it can be concluded that these efforts contributed to reducing poverty. In a new programme, in which the private sector is actively engaged, the embassy aims to address key issues in horticultural (including banana) value chains. The approaches developed at district level can be upscaled to national level to address land issues with regard to husbandry. The Netherlands' Aid and Trade agenda has been a central focus since the Netherlands took the decision to classify Rwanda as a transition country. The Rwandan government's ambitious investment programmes offer good opportunities for Dutch suppliers and investment opportunities for Dutch enterprises.

Financial summary

Total expenditure Embassy € 49,397,190

Expenditure 2016 per theme

Expenditure 2016 per channel