Rwanda continues to be a strong performer when it comes to reforming its business environment, as demonstrated by the latest annual World Bank Doing Business report.
According to the 2015 report, which assessed 189 economies, Rwanda has been ranked the best in East Africa in ease of doing business, third on the African continent after Mauritius and South African and in the 46th position globally.
Last year, Rwanda was 32nd in the world and second best in Africa but following the recent significant changes in the methodology to compile data for the 2015 report, Rwanda lost a few places but nevertheless displays a strong performance.
The Doing Business report assesses how easy it is to do business in the surveyed countries, and the higher the rank, the more conducive the regulatory environment is to start and operate a firm. In the overall performance, Rwanda is still the best performing country in the East and Central Africa and third easiest place to do business in Africa after Mauritius (ranked 28th globally) and South Africa (43th globally).
Themed ‘Going beyond Efficiency,’ the 2015 report also examines the quality of regulation.
Rwanda has made major progress in Access to Credit, where it moved from 13th to 4th place globally, while in terms of Dealing with Construction Permits, the country moved from 85th to 34th position, for Resolving Insolvency from 137th to 101st.
“Rwanda has consistently implemented bold reforms to improve the ease of doing business and this has resulted in a significant promotion from 150th globally in 2008 to 46th today. We have achieved this mainly through constant dialogue with the private sector to determine their perspectives and needs,” said the CEO of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Francis Gatare, in reaction to the 2015 report.
He noted the WB Doing Business report is very important, since by looking at how other countries are doing you are able to assess your own level of competitiveness and by seeing others you are able to compare yourself to the best.
He said that businesses are using the methodology used in the report to make decisions, which is why it’s an important tool for investors to assess where to do business.
“The report is a reflection of the amount of work that is still needed to keep a pace with the best in the world and we are motivated to continue engage in the reform work that this country been committed to over the last 10 to 15 years and that has seen Rwanda to be among the most competitive economies in the world,” Gatare said.
He noted that the economy continues to rely strongly on the Rwandan investors that are growing businesses adding that it is also the responsibility of the government to continue to attract more foreign investors to come and complement the efforts of local entrepreneurs.
He further observed that the report does not cover the entire spectrum of business-related reforms, and that there are many other things that the government through RDB and institutions will continue to do even if they are not captured in the WB report.
“As the theme for this year ‘Going beyond Efficiency’ suggests, Rwanda will continue to progress beyond the World Bank indicators to the business and investment climate as a whole. We remain fully committed to ensuring business is at the center of our development agenda,” Gatare said.
The World Bank country manager for Rwanda, Carolyn Turk, noted that Rwanda’s progress in improving the business environment has been positive.
“Among the African countries, Rwanda is very high in the ranking since it is among the top 3. Since 2005, Rwanda has undertaken more reforms than any other African country and this is actually a good story,” she said.
“What the doing business report has found is that the investment climate in Rwanda has improved last year, even though its ranking seem to be lower, but that is entirely because of the change in methodology used,” Turk added.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, François Kanimba noted that in less than a month from now, the government will have completed putting in place strategies and mechanisms aimed at further promoting the business environment especially in the areas where the country is not performing well in 2015 WB report.
The acting CEO of the Private Sector Federation (PSF), Gerald Mukubu, noted that the private sector is satisfied with what the government is doing to promoting business in the country, especially through the introduction of electronic filing and payment of taxes which has drastically reduced the time required to fulfill all formalities.
He further noted that the introduction of Electronic Billing Machines helped the business community to work in a more professional manner as they allow to easily ascertain their revenue and make their tax declarations.