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Published On: Fri, Jan 19th, 2018

World Bank Supports Rwanda’s Urbanisation With $95mn

The World Bank Group is supporting Rwanda with $95 million to help its urbanisation plan, according to a report by the Bank. The aim is to help country achieve middle income status by 2020.

The multilateral  finance group is supporting the government’s urbanization strategy with a $95 million Rwanda Urban Development Project that aims to provide basic infrastructure and services to six secondary cities around the country—Muhanga (formerly Gitarama), Rubavu (Gisenyi), Nyagatare, Huye (Butare), Rusizi (Cyangugu), and Musanze (Ruhengeri)—and to Kigali City, which makes up the core of the greater Kigali area.

The Bank’s new Rwanda Economic Update focuses on the rapid pace of urbanization as its special topic, Rethinking Urbanization in Rwanda: From Demographic Transition to Economic Transformation. The report finds the urban share of Rwanda’s total population (now about 12 million) has increased far faster than official records suggest because the definitions of urban areas need streamlining. A 2012 census and 2014 household survey calculated the urban share of the population at 16.5 and 17.3 percent respectively.

However, using another, simple definition of urban, the report’s researchers found that the level of urbanization had increased far more—from 15.8 percent to 26.5 percent between 2002 and 2015, an increase of 132 percent or almost 2 million people. In other words, says the report, large scale urbanization has already taken place in Rwanda.


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