To achieve the objective enshrined in Vision 2020 that the private sector should be at the forefront of economic growth, the government of Rwanda has over the past two decades made huge efforts to make doing business in the country easier.
The measures and reforms taken in this regard have since 2005 been captured by the Doing Business index compiled by the World Bank, in which nearly 200 countries are assessed regarding the business-friendliness of their economies. Over the past decade, Rwanda has continuously been on the rise, to become the second best country in Africa in which to do business for two years running, with only Mauritius doing better.
Globally, Rwanda gained six places to the 56th position out of 190 countries in the Doing Business index 2017. Rwanda is one of only 10 economies that have implemented reforms in all of the Doing Business indicators every year since 2005, becoming an example of an economy that uses Doing Business as a guide to improve its business environment.
These reforms, spearheaded by the Rwanda Development Board, are in line with Rwanda’s Vision 2020 development strategy, which aims to transform Rwanda from a low-income economy to a lower-middle-income economy driven by private enterprise, with the target of raising the per capita GDP from $290 in 2006 to $1,240 by 2020.
From Doing Business 2005 to Doing Business 2017, Rwanda has implemented a total of 47 reforms across all indicators.
The Doing Business index measures10 main areas that affect business: the ease of starting a business, obtaining construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.
In Rwanda, many of the relevant services are offered online. These include company incorporation, issuance of construction permits, filing and payment of taxes, filing of court cases and online publication of judgments as well as land title search.
The Doing Business index sheds light on how easy it is for entrepreneurs to open and run small to medium-sized businesses when complying with the relevant regulations. It presents quantitative indicators on business regulations and the protection of property rights that can be compared across 189 economies, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, over time.
The index covers 47 economies in Sub Saharan Africa, 32 in Latin America and the Caribbean, 25 in East Asia and the Pacific, 25 in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, 20 in the Middle East and North Africa and 8 in South Asia, as well as 32 OECD high-income economies.
The indicators are used to analyse economic outcomes and identify what reforms have worked, where and why. Below is an overview and how Rwanda has fared in each indicator over time.
Read this article and more in issue n° 74 of Hope Magazine.