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Project Case Study

Finding private solutions for infrastructure in Rwanda

Improving war-damaged infrastructure in Rwanda

The systematic campaign of genocide and the civil war in 1994 inflicted incalculable harm on the social and economic fabric of Rwanda. Beyond the human loss, one aspect of this was the enormous damage caused to the country’s infrastructure endowment. Despite difficult circumstances, significant economic growth was achieved by 2000, and the economy was nearing pre-war levels. However, the government of Rwanda recognised that much remained to be done.

Adam Smith International was asked in 2003 to produce a Country Framework Report (CFR) to provide a route-map for how the government of Rwanda could, together with the private sector and international community, best develop its infrastructural needs.

Project info

Finding private solutions for infrastructure in Rwanda



  • Government of Rwanda

The CFR was an important knowledge generation activity which assisted the Government of Rwanda, in partnership with other stakeholders and donor organisations, to address failings in infrastructure service provision issues and to develop an action plan to enable a coordinated contribution from all parties to the effective development of private participation in Rwanda’s infrastructure.

The CFR provided a comprehensive study of the country’s infrastructure in the transport, energy, water and sanitation, and telecommunications sectors. It provided a map for infrastructure sector reform, highlighting the opportunities that exist for the private sector, the role that the donor community could play in assisting the Government of Rwanda to realise its priorities in infrastructure, and the supporting policies and actions required for implementation of the recommendations.

The recommendations of the Rwanda CFR were adopted in full by the Government of Rwanda. Among the most important, which have yielded significant and tangible results for the country were our support in using the potential of Lake Kivu gas to meet electricity generation needs, where by 2012 there were three significant Kivu Gas electricity projects in operation and a further five projects in the pipeline. Additionally, the donor support provided to encourage local commercial banks to provide medium and long-term loans for company start-ups as well as micro-financing facilities was successful, as was our support to develop private sector participation in the country transport sector. For example by 2012, detailed plans had been developed to use PPP financing to develop the central bus terminal.

We provided follow-up support to organise a high-level tripartite (government, donor community, and private sector) conference to discuss the findings and recommendations of the CFR for the energy and water sectors, and identify investment opportunities for the private sector. The conference aimed to increase private investors’ and donors’ interest in infrastructure investments in Rwanda, and build consensus on how to achieve growth both in and outside the country. The government agreed to pursue the strategy outlined in the CFR, and the development agencies in attendance made pledges to support the Government of Rwanda in its infrastructure reform, giving Rwanda a strong framework through which to rebuild.

“I don't often find myself in this delightful position. There are a lot of mediocre consultants in the world but very few great ones. My congratulations to Adam Smith International on an exemplary piece of work.”

Donald Kaberuka, former Minister of Finance, Government of Rwanda, now President of the African Development Bank

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