Rwanda remains the third easiest place to do business in Africa, after Mauritius and South Africa, a new World Bank Doing Business Report shows.
The 2013 doing business report, released yesterday, ranked Rwanda 52nd out of 185 countries, retaining its reputation as the best business destination in east and central Africa region.
But the country slipped four places in the global rankings, although officials in Kigali said that had more to do with the performance of other countries than with the local business dynamics.
Overall, the country registered significant improvement, particularly with regard to enforcing contracts (39th) and access to electricity (49th).
According to the Minister of Trade and Industry, Francois Kanimba, the country eased enforcement of contracts through implementing an electronic filing system for initial complaints, whereas the cost of obtaining a new electricity connection was slashed by 30 per cent.
“We have seen consistent improvement, both in competitiveness and ease of doing business,” he said.
Officials at the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) also welcomed the ranking, saying it reflected a steady progress in the country’s doing business reforms.
“Rwanda’s performance in this year’s index demonstrates our commitment to achieving our economic goals,” said Clare Akamanzi, CEO, RDB.
“We will work hard to address the remaining challenges to make Rwanda even more attractive as a business destination,” Akamanzi said.
Akamanzi said government’s commitment to private sector development has facilitated growth in exports, domestic investment and foreign direct investment inflows.
The report, Doing Business 2013: Smarter Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises, singles out Rwanda as having consistently improved since 2005, implementing more than 26 business reforms.
Rwanda’s ranking per indicator remained strong in such as opening a business, where it remained eighth easiest in the world, with company registration taking only two procedures and the whole process of incorporation concluded within six hours.
In ease of paying taxes, Rwanda is 25th easiest place globally.
In 2008, the country ranked 150th globally.
In the region, Uganda is second to Rwanda, and at 120th globally; Kenya is third, at 121st, Tanzania is fourth in the region, at 134th globally, then Burundi, at 159th globally, and DRC, which ranked 181st worldwide.
This year, Rwanda implemented nine new reforms out of 10 indicators that the World Bank which are not reflected in the latest ranking.
The country’s performance earned her a special mention from the World Bank, which dedicated a report on Rwanda under a theme titled, “Rwanda Fostering Prosperity by promoting Entrepreneurship”.
According to the rankings, Rwanda is fourth on the continent after Mauritius (19th worldwide) and South Africa (39th globally).
Singapore was ranked the easiest place to do business in the world, followed by Hong Kong, China and New Zealand, in that order.
Globally, Burundi, for the second year running, emerged among top ten reformers, even as it still lags behind its East African peers in ease of doing business.
Over the past seven years, all the five East African Community economies implemented a total of 62 regulatory reforms improving the business environment for local entrepreneurs, according to the report.
Topping the list of countries that recorded the biggest improvements in the ease of doing business over the last year were Poland, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Burundi, Costa Rica, Mongolia, Greece, Serbia, and Kazakhstan.