How to Hire Employees in Rwanda

Shraddha Saxena
Discover the benefits of hiring in Rwanda, where strategic geographic positioning and a dynamic business climate create ample opportunities. Boasting a competent workforce and flourishing sectors like mining, agriculture, and technology, Rwanda provides access to varied talent pools and substantial growth prospects in Africa’s vibrant economic landscape.

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Rwanda's strategic position in central East Africa and its vibrant capital, Kigali, position it as a burgeoning hub for services, which make up half of the nation's GDP. With key trade connections to Uganda, Kenya, and China, Rwanda is a gateway to regional commerce, despite a growing trade deficit. The country's cost-effective labor market and pool of skilled professionals in services and agriculture make it an appealing destination for expanding or establishing global operations.

What you need to know before hiring employees in Rwanda 

Job market in Rwanda

  • Rwanda's GDP is projected to surge by 42.34% from 2024 to 2029, reaching a peak of $19.48 billion. This robust growth, driven by sectors like industry, construction, and services, presents fertile ground for business opportunities.
  • Forecasted to stabilize at 5% by 2029, Rwanda’s manageable inflation rate reflects strong economic governance, enhancing the country’s attractiveness for long-term investments.
  • The services sector, particularly tourism, leads as Rwanda’s top foreign exchange earner with tourism revenues soaring by 171.3% from 2021 to 2022. Strategic investments in sectors like ICT and financial services are also pivotal, supported by initiatives like the Kigali Innovation City and the Kigali International Finance Center.
  • Ongoing projects like the Bugesera International Airport and the expansion of RwandAir enhance Rwanda’s logistics and connectivity capabilities, making it an even more appealing hub for regional trade and business operations.
  • Rwanda’s commitment to becoming a regional technology leader is evidenced by developments in the ICT ecosystem, which are likely to spur job creation and attract tech-savvy talent and innovative startups.

Rwanda  Hiring Trends

  • With a history of sustained high GDP growth, Rwanda presents abundant opportunities, particularly in its burgeoning sectors of construction, tourism, and ICT. The strong economic performance positions Rwanda as an emerging market with significant potential.
  • The industrial sector contributes 21% to Rwanda’s GDP, with substantial employment opportunities in mining, construction, and manufacturing. This diverse industrial base supports a wide range of skill sets, from manual labor to engineering and management roles.
  • Accounting for almost half of the GDP, the services sector, especially tourism and financial services, has seen an average growth rate of around 11% annually. This rapid expansion fuels demand for a skilled workforce in hospitality, finance, and customer service.
  • As a country heavily reliant on agriculture, there is a continuous need for agricultural experts, researchers, and labor, making it a primary employment sector that drives both local consumption and export.
  • With strategic investments in technology through initiatives like the Kigali Innovation City, Rwanda is cultivating a tech-savvy workforce. This focus on ICT attracts startups and established companies looking to innovate and expand their digital footprint.
  • Rwanda's government provides compelling incentives for businesses, including ease of starting a business and access to broad markets via membership in the East African Community (EAC) and COMESA.

How to hire employees from Rwanda 

1. Set up an entity in the country

Setting up a legal entity in Rwanda  is crucial for businesses seeking stable expansion and direct workforce management. Choose between structures such as a Limited Liability Company or Public Corporation, and register with the Rwanda  Registrar of Companies. Obtaining a VAT number for tax purposes is essential. Navigating this process requires knowledge of Cypriot corporate laws, underscoring the need for careful planning or specialized assistance.

2. Hire independent contractors

Hiring independent contractors in Rwanda involves formal agreements for specific tasks or projects, offering adaptability ideal for short-term or specialized requirements. Proper classification of these workers is crucial to avoid legal complications and potential penalties. This approach grants operational flexibility, but it's important to note that contractors might not show the same level of dedication or loyalty as full-time, permanent staff, which is an essential factor to consider in this hiring model.

3. Partner with an EOR in the country

Partnering with an Employer of Record in Rwanda simplifies market entry without the complexities of forming a legal entity. This approach minimizes liabilities and enhances cost-efficiency. An EOR ensures adherence to Rwandan labor laws, taxation, and regulatory standards, substantially reducing legal risks and simplifying business operations. This strategy is particularly effective in maintaining compliance and operational efficiency, making it an invaluable option for companies looking to quickly and effectively establish a presence in Rwanda.

Employment Laws You Must Know Before Hiring in Rwanda 

Compliance risk while hiring in Rwanda  

When hiring in Rwanda, compliance risks include misclassification of employees versus contractors, failure to adhere to labor laws, and incorrect tax filings. Addressing these risks requires thorough understanding of Rwandan employment regulations to avoid legal complications, potential fines, and reputational damage for non-compliance.

Key Aspects of Rwandaian Labor Law

Employment Contract: In Rwanda, employment contracts can be either fixed-term or indefinite and may be in written or oral form. However, oral contracts cannot last beyond 90 consecutive days. Written contracts must include specific details such as:

  • Identification of both the employee and employer
  • The contract's purpose
  • Obligations of the parties involved
  • Contract duration
  • Nature and category or level of employment
  • Work location
  • Probation period, if applicable
  • Work hours
  • Details of salary and any fringe benefits
  • Salary deductions
  • Salary payment schedule and location
  • Overtime compensation
  • Employee transfer procedures
  • Dispute resolution processes
  • Termination procedures
  • Start date of the employment

Working Hours: Starting January 2023, work hours will be from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, with an hour lunch break. There's flexibility to work remotely between 8:00 am and 9:00 am. This makes a total of eight hours of work each day.Overtime: Any work done beyond the regular weekly hours will be considered overtime and must be compensated according to the rules set out in a collective labor agreement.Minimum Wage: There isn't a set minimum wage nationwide, but a 1973 law states that the daily minimum wage is 100 RWF. However, most workers receive wages well above this. The salary for different job types is decided through collective agreements made between workers and employers.

Payroll laws in Rwanda 

In Rwanda, salaries are usually paid once a month, following a monthly payroll cycle.

Employment benefits in Rwanda 

Leave Policies in Rwanda 

Paid Time Off:

Workers are guaranteed at least 18 days of paid vacation each year, with those under 18 getting 24 days. The amount of leave increases based on how long they've been employed, as stated in their contract and labor laws.

Public Holidays:

Rwanda has a total of 12 public holidays in 2024. 

Sick Days:

Workers can take up to six months off due to illness each year. They'll receive pay for three months, while the remaining three months will be unpaid, requiring proof of illness.

Maternity Leave:

In Rwanda, women receive 12 weeks of paid maternity leave. They must take at least 14 days off before the due date. Before starting maternity leave, they need to provide certificates confirming their pregnancy.

Paternity Leave:

In Rwanda, fathers can take up to four unpaid working days off in a year. This allows them to spend time with their family without losing their job.

Public Health Insurance 

In Rwanda, public health insurance is managed by the Community-Based Health Insurance (CBHI) scheme, commonly known as Mutuelles de Santé. This program aims to ensure access to essential health services for all citizens, particularly the vulnerable and low-income individuals. 

Through CBHI, Rwandans contribute affordable premiums, with subsidies available for those unable to afford them. The scheme covers a wide range of medical services, including preventive care, treatment, and hospitalization. Its implementation has significantly improved healthcare access and affordability nationwide, contributing to Rwanda's remarkable progress in achieving universal health coverage and improving population health outcomes.

Filing tax in Rwanda 

Income Tax:

Income tax contributions in Rwanda vary based on income levels. Individuals earning up to 60,000 RWF are not taxed. Those earning between 60,000.01 and 100,000 RWF are taxed at 20%, while those earning above 100,001 RWF are taxed at 30%.For a detailed breakdown of rwanda's tax structure, including specific rates and brackets, visit our comprehensive guide.

Other Tax and Social Security Contributions:

Other tax and social security contributions in Rwanda include employer payroll contributions such as social security for medical insurance, occupational hazards, pension scheme, and maternity leave benefits. Employees also contribute to medical insurance, pension, maternity benefits, and the Community-based Health Insurance Scheme. For a detailed breakdown of rwanda's tax structure, including specific rates and brackets, visit our comprehensive guide.

Business culture in Rwanda 

Business culture in Rwanda is marked by a blend of traditional respect and modern professionalism, reflecting the country's position as a growing hub in the heart of Africa. Here are some key aspects of Rwandan business culture:

  • Building strong personal relationships is crucial in Rwandan business culture. Initial meetings are often used to establish trust and rapport, with a focus on polite conversation before discussing business matters.
  • Rwandan businesses typically observe hierarchical structures, with respect shown to senior figures. Decision-making is often centralized, and it’s important to direct communications to the highest-ranking person present.
  • Professionalism and formality in dress and communication are valued, especially in initial meetings. As relationships develop, interactions may become more informal, reflecting a deepening of business relations.
  • Punctuality is appreciated and expected for all business appointments. Meetings may start with light conversation, which serves as a gesture of politeness and a way to strengthen bonds.
  • Negotiations in Rwanda may proceed at a slower pace. Patience and respect for the process are important as relationships are valued over quick deals. It is common for agreements to be reached only after several discussions.
  • There is a strong emphasis on community and consensus within Rwandan businesses. Decisions are often made through consultation and consensus, reflecting a collective approach to business practices.

Top sectors to hire from in Rwanda 


With 24.9% of the GDP coming from agriculture, this sector remains a cornerstone of Rwanda's economy. It provides substantial employment opportunities in farming, agribusiness, and agricultural technology, making it essential for companies looking to engage in primary production or agri-based industries.


Contributing about 46.49% to the GDP, the services sector is pivotal, especially in areas like tourism, financial services, and hospitality. With rapid growth in tourism and a focus on becoming a regional conference hub, there's a growing need for skilled professionals in customer service, event management, and financial expertise.


Accounting for 21.24% of GDP, Rwanda's industrial sector includes mining, construction, manufacturing, and utilities. This sector offers opportunities in engineering, project management, and technical support, particularly with ongoing infrastructure projects like the construction of the Bugesera International Airport.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

As Rwanda aims to transform into a regional ICT hub, there's increasing demand for IT professionals, digital marketers, and tech entrepreneurs, especially in initiatives like Kigali Innovation City.

Financial Services

The establishment of the Kigali International Finance Center highlights the growing importance of the financial sector, which offers roles in banking, investment, and insurance services, catering to the emerging financial needs of a growing economy.

Energy and Mining

With strategic investments in energy and an expanding mining sector, there's a demand for skilled labor in renewable energy technologies, mineral extraction, and environmental management.

Top cities to hire from Rwanda 


As the capital and largest city, Kigali is the administrative and economic center of Rwanda. It hosts numerous government offices, international organizations, and a vibrant business community. Kigali is particularly strong in the ICT, financial services, and tourism sectors, making it an excellent place for finding well-educated and skilled professionals.

Butare (Huye)

Known as an academic city, Butare is home to several universities, including the University of Rwanda's main campus. This makes it a prime location for hiring young, educated talent, especially in the fields of education, technology, and research.


Located in the Northern Province, Musanze is significant for tourism due to its proximity to Volcanoes National Park, making it ideal for hiring in the hospitality and tourism sectors. It also serves as a center for agriculture and trade.


Situated on the shores of Lake Kivu, Rubavu is another key city for tourism-related employment. Its beautiful beach resorts and hotels provide numerous opportunities for professionals in the hospitality and service industries.


Positioned in the Eastern Province, Rwamagana has a growing industrial and agricultural base. The presence of various agro-processing industries makes it a suitable location for hiring in agricultural management, industrial operations, and logistics.

Hire in Rwanda compliantly with Gloroots

Gloroots, as an Employer of Record (EOR) in Rwanda , provides a streamlined solution for the unique challenges of hiring in the country. Our platform accelerates candidate onboarding, ensuring swift and compliant operational initiation. Tailored for companies of all sizes, it simplifies payroll management, benefits administration, and tax handling, removing the need to establish a local entity. This allows businesses to focus on efficiently building their remote team in Rwanda . For more information on how Gloroots can assist with your Cypriot hiring needs, please contact us.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What are the key considerations when setting up a business entity in Rwanda?

When establishing a business in Rwanda, it's essential to choose the right legal structure, such as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or a Public Corporation. Registration is handled through the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where businesses can also obtain necessary tax identification numbers and comply with local regulations. Understanding local corporate laws and possibly engaging with legal experts or consultants can streamline this process and ensure compliance.

How does Rwanda support foreign investment and business operations?

Rwanda is highly supportive of foreign investment and offers various incentives such as a streamlined business registration process, competitive tax rates, and access to the East African and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) markets. The government also provides specific incentives for priority sectors like ICT, energy, and infrastructure through investment promotions and special economic zones.

What should employers know about the labor market and employment regulations in Rwanda?

Employers should be aware that Rwanda has a formal employment contract system, and both fixed-term and indefinite contracts are common. Employment contracts must include specific terms outlined by local labor laws, such as job description, salary details, and termination procedures. Employers must also adhere to Rwandan labor laws regarding minimum wage, working hours, and employee rights to ensure compliance and avoid legal issues.

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