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Easy to do business in Africa: Look no further than Rwanda

Easy to do business in Africa: Look no further than Rwanda

The World Bank Doing Business methodology is very dynamic, and every year new measures are introduced as Rwanda continues to display expedient growth.

The Rwanda Development Board hosted a press conference yesterday to commend all partner institutions for the consistent reforms and efforts as realized in the recently-released World Bank Doing Business Report 2017, which ranked Rwanda as the 2nd easiest place to do business in Africa and the 1st in the East African region.

In the World Bank Business report dubbed “Equal opportunity for all,” Rwanda registered four reforms in:

• starting a business,
• registering property,
• trading across borders, and
• enforcing contracts which were all reflected in the report.

The reforms reduced the duration, cost, and number of procedures involved in a life cycle of small- to medium-sized domestic business boosting the country to achieve an overall Distance to Frontier (DTF) score of 69.81, an improvement from 57.88 in the year 2010.

The World Bank Doing Business methodology is very dynamic, and every year new measures are introduced as Rwanda continues to display expedient growth. Honorable Francois Kanimba, the Minister of Trade and the Chairman of the World Bank Doing Business Steering Committee, speaking at the press conference commented, “It is exciting how Rwanda has been on an ascending roadmap; 10 years back we were ranked number 143, and now we are ranked 56th globally.”

The 2017 report incorporated  a gender dimension for the first time this year, and Rwanda featured in all the mentioned elements for upholding gender equality across all business spheres. Honorable Kanimba added, “It is impressive that World Bank continues to introduce new indicators that are aligned to the development focus of the Government of Rwanda, for instance the 2017 gender dimension criteria that is aligned to our focus on women empowerment, therefore, contributing to our progress in the ranking.”

Ms. Rita Ramalho, the Manager for Doing Business Global Indicators Group, during her presentation at the press conference noted that Rwanda is two-thirds away with 30 points towards reaching the frontier, and examining the current momentum, the results may be more promising in the coming years. In the 2017 report, Rwanda experienced improvements across all business sectors, and primarily, Rwanda shot up by 35 ranks on starting a business in the country, 8 ranks in registering property, 69 ranks in trading across borders, and 32 ranks in enforcing contracts.

Rwanda has over the years streamlined a number of regulations that have made it easier for local and international investors to access the local market especially through online processes as the country is now targeting registered investment of US$.1.3 billion end of 2016.  In this year’s report especially, a few growth indicators largely contributed to the high performance; these are:

·         Initiation of online VAT registration as well as online post-registration processes.

·         Online property registration and land administration systems.

·         Removal of cross–border pre-shipment inspection for imported goods.

·         The establishment of a fully-functional integrated case management system (IECMS).

Mr. Francis Gatare, the Chief Executive Officer – Rwanda Development Board, during his speech also commented: “Rwanda is delighted to have been significantly recognized by the World Bank Doing Business Report for the remarkable improvements in our country; our objective is to continue making easier, convenient, and cost-effective reforms for the small micro entrepreneurs who are the biggest beneficiaries and the basis for the country’s economic growth.”

He then added, “We, however, faced a few setbacks in construction permits and in getting electricity, but plans to improve these indicators are already in the pipeline.”

For the tourism industry, Rwanda has also set new standards when the country lifted visa in advance requirements for in particular African travelers. For the past nearly three years, citizens of African Union member countries can obtain visa on arrival, a measure which in particular supported national airline RwandAir, which as a result has grown in leaps and bounds. The airline this month expects their fleet to get a boost into double-digit numbers with the arrival of yet another brand-new Boeing B737-800NG followed shortly afterwards by the delivery of a second Airbus A330, this one being a larger -300 variant.

For information about Destination Rwanda click on

The Rwanda Development Board is a member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP).

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