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Between party capitalism and market reforms: understanding sector differences in Rwanda

Behuria, Pritish (2015) Between party capitalism and market reforms: understanding sector differences in Rwanda. Journal of Modern African Studies, 53 (03). pp. 415-450. ISSN 0022-278X

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S0022278X15000403


Different strategies have been used by the Rwandan government to promote capitalist accumulation. In some sectors, party and military owned enterprises are predominant. In others, the government has chosen to embrace market-led reforms. Ultimately, the vulnerability experienced by ruling elites contributes to the choice of how capital accumulation is promoted in different sectors. Ruling elites use party and military enterprises to centralise rents and establish control over the direction of economic policy. However, centralising rents is a political choice and excludes individuals from developing access to rents. The pyrethrum sector shows that the use of such groups has resulted in unequal outcomes despite increases in productivity. Reduced international prices have stunted further productivity. Conversely, the mining sector shows evidence of the pursuit of market-led reforms. These reforms have been accompanied by rapid growth in domestic production and exports. Foreign investment was necessary in order to bring capital and expertise to the sector. However, the government has struggled to retain the capacity to enforce legislation and discipline foreign investors in line with national priorities. Both sectors show evidence that ruling elites have been prompted by vulnerability to commit to economic development. Constraints that have accompanied strategies pursued in these sectors have forced the government to work ‘reactively’ to achieve strategic targets

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 Cambridge University Press
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DT Africa
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2015 10:06
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2024 07:54

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