Developing Nyagatare District: Findings from a Multidimensional Analysis
The development and strengthening of secondary cities matter a great deal in the provision of balanced sustainable urban growth for the country. Hastening urbanization through the secondary city development program is expected to improve socio-economic conditions by generating jobs and decreasing poverty. Secondary cities in Rwanda are meant to serve as poles of growth and release the pressure on Kigali, which currently leads the Rwandan economy. Based on government target to reach an urbanization rate of 35% by 2024, IPAR-Rwanda has conducted in-depth analysis on the opportunities offered by secondary cities and the challenges they face. It also makes policy recommendations for simulating their growth, individually and across the whole portfolio. The current policy brief intends to provide information and brief discussions on the urbanization and development of Nyagatare District in the Eastern Province. The last household survey (EICV5) indicates that Nyagatare is the second most populated district of Rwanda with a total population of 600,000 inhabitants of which 56,000 live in urban areas. Urbanised at a rate of 9%, Nyagatare still registers a high reliance on agriculture and wholesale and retail trade. Therefore, policy planning in this district needs to focus on increasing market size through rural urban linkages and promoting urban density, building on its strategic position as an agriculture and livestock hub for the province and the country. In order to achieve this target, this brief establishes an approach of labor force empowerment, strategic planning and investments towards a comprehensive growth and support for opportunity sectors.