Rwanda has made significant progress in recovering from the devastation of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi population. Stable governance has helped the country greatly. However, 39.1 per cent of the population still live below the poverty line, while 16.3 percent are classified as living in extreme poverty – lacking access to essential supplies and services.
Challenging issues include high population growth, underdeveloped agriculture, poor access to sufficient nutritious food (especially in the south and south-western districts) and limited sources of income outside agriculture.
Population increase has put a strain on the limited amount of farmable land, with more mouths to feed and no new land to provide more crops. Farmers need new and more efficient ways of farming, while the nation needs to develop more modern production methods and means of trading.
Food security – access to enough nutritious food all year round – is a constant threat. It leads to persistent malnutrition, affecting children under five around the south and western provinces.
Great inroads have been made in opening up access to education, and illiteracy levels have declined over the years. However, challenges remain. There are still very high dropout rates at all levels of schooling, due to high levels of poverty. Of those that are able to complete their education, most still lack suitable skills to make them employable.
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