Rwanda’s top 10 exports in 2023

By Wycliffe Nyamasege
On 25 April 2024 at 10:53

Rwanda netted $3.5 billion (RWF 4.48 trillion) from foreign exports in 2023, representing a 17.2 percent growth compared to 2022, latest data from the Rwanda Development Board shows.

According to the Board, the top 10 exports include unwrought gold (including gold plated with platinum), zirconium ore, tin ore, and tungsten ore.

Other top exports were cement, malt extract, wheat or meslin flour, cereal flours, coffee, and tea.

The United Arab Emirates received the largest share of exports, amounting to 56.9 percent, primarily consisting of goods such as minerals and horticulture products.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) came second, accounting for 10.4 percent of the exports, followed by China (5.0%), Hong Kong (2.6%), and the United Kingdom (2.2%).

National carrier, RwandAir, transported a total of 4,595 tons of cargo, with the majority of shipments destined for Dubai, the United Kingdom, and Belgium.

RDB, in a report unveiled on Wednesday, April 24, 2024, disclosed that exports cargo increased by 22.7 percent in 2023 compared to the previous year.

The surge in exports cargo has been attributed to increased capacity out of Kigali to UAE market and increased frequency of flights out of Kigali to London, which presented opportunities for more cargo shipments out Kigali.

The opening of the route to France is also said to have contributed to the growth of the export sector in 2023.

RDB also engaged in various initiatives to boost access to international markets for local producers, enhance product quality and foster development of new products.

The Board said it facilitated training for 60 potential and existing exporting companies in the Manufacturing, Agroprocessing, Handcraft, and IT sectors. The training covered a wide range of topics including international market entry, packaging and labeling skills, and the protocols and rules of origin under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Additionally, some 123 companies were assisted to access the export market through nine promotional events conducted in Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria, Egypt, Turkey, Dubai, China, Italy, Mozambique. This led to closure of 35 export deals worth $55,763,466 (RWF 71 billion).

“13 companies were on boarded to the International platforms- Dubuy.com, Rwandamart.rw and ArabianOrganic.com and 25 Entrepreneurs were trained on e-commerce under n-eutrentepreneur program,” the report reads in part.

More than 287 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) were also reported to have benefitted from capacity building, market linkage, financial linkage and standard certification acquisition.