More than 7 million Rwandans do their banking through their cellphones, but many of the agents who facilitate the banking transactions never declared their income to the country’s tax authority. Now the tax authority has started taking a 15-percent withholding tax from these agents’ incomes with the cellphone provider, plunging some of these agents into financial turmoil.
In Rwanda, where agriculture drives the economy, a cow is a symbol of wealth. To help the rural poor, the government has for more than a decade been giving select rural families one cow each, but the animal is not a simple gift – caring for a cow is difficult and expensive.
Despite plenty of arable land and potential labor, Rwanda imports more food than it exports. The government has introduced a program to get farmers to use hybrid maize seeds, but some farmers are pushing back against the strictures of the program.
Tourism accounted for 11 percent of Rwanda’s GDP in 2016, but many Rwandans continue to see tourism as reserved for foreigners. A government program, which aims to boost domestic tourism by offering Rwandans and East Africans discounted admission to tourist sites, encourages citizens to explore the internationally renowned attractions in their own country — and it seems to be working.
Following an outbreak of bird flu, many African nations have instituted bans on poultry products from neighboring countries. For months, poultry breeders and merchants have been losing revenue. South Africa, Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Nigeria have all had confirmed but limited outbreaks of the disease.