The political settlement and ‘deals environment’ in Rwanda: Unpacking two decades of economic growth

The political settlement and ‘deals environment’ in Rwanda: Unpacking two decades of economic growth

In the two decades since 1994, the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) government has achieved growth rates of over 6 percent every year (with the exception of 2003 and 2013). This has led to praise from diverse groups, ranging from international financial institutions to mainstream and less mainstream scholars.
 
The paper builds on the existing literature on Rwanda’s economic development trajectory and the theoretical frameworks provided by the political settlements approach and analytical emphasis on the ‘rents space’ and ‘deals space’. It concurs with recent analyses that argue the RPF government is ‘developmental’ in orientation, but challenges the linear simplicity of existing narratives about Rwanda and seeks to deepen the analysis of its economic strategy and state-business relations in a number of ways.
 
Unlike existing analyses, the authors show how different state-business relationships in specific sectors have influenced Rwanda’s developmental trajectory. Drawing on Sen (2013) and Pritchett and Werker (2013), they also focus on the difficulties associated with developing state-business relationships that are conducive to both promoting growth accelerations and maintaining growth.
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