Rwanda tops in 2017 World Bank Doing Business Report

The 2017 World Bank Doing Business Report has ranked Rwanda 2nd in Africa after Mauritius. And globally, Rwanda has improved six places ranking 56th out of 190 countries.

The latest World Bank report was released Tuesday.

The rankings also indicate that Rwanda reduced the gap between the country Mauritius from 30 places last year to only seven places.

Botswana came in third place in Africa and 72nd globally, with South Africa at 73rd globally.

Morocco was fifth on the continent and 75th globally. 

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The 2017 release is the 14th edition of a series of annual reports that examine the regulations and conditions that enhance business conduciveness as well as those that limit. 

The World Bank Doing Business report focuses on several aspects that facilitate business including; 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.

The report’s authors observed that that the rapid improvement across all the key sectors was largely characterised by progress in aspects such as transparency, accountability and strategic channeling of investments to maximise impact.

The most significant improvement was in the service industry. In credit financing, Rwanda was ranked second in the world. And in registration of property, Rwanda came fourth globally.

Drastic measures undertaken

In recent years, the country has rolled out a number of policy directives to improve the business environment most of which have yielded result according to the local and international businesses. 

Starting business has been made easy through online registration which offers a one-stop shop as well as streamline post-registration processes such as availing VAT registration procedures online. 

Property registration was made easier through the introduction of effective time limits and increasing the transparency of the land administration system. 

The Government also eased trading across borders by removing the mandatory pre-shipment inspection for imported products which significantly reduced multiple requirements and steps. 

The 2017 Doing Business Report also introduced a gender dimension which measures equality of ownership between men and women in registration, ownership and rights to business. 

In the new aspect, the report observed that all the three elements meet the gender equality principles which provides for the minimum of 30 per cent quota for women in all decision making positions.

Commenting on the development, Rwanda Development Board chief executive Francis Gatare said the strides and progress in the new report stem from the focus to optimise the service industry and capitalising on investment opportunities that promote long-term sustainable growth.

He also cited the role of social stakeholders whose social and financial support had pushed the country forward. 

“We also continue to harness the role of the private sector in accelerating economic growth to make the country even much easier and conducive in conducting business,”Gatare said.

“We would not have achieved these advancements without the support of our stakeholders whose social and financial impact has been greatly felt in the country.

“We shall continue to stretch our borders and ensure that strengthening the regional economy is at the centre of Rwanda’s sustainable development, making Africa an investment hub as a whole.” 

The report continues to be a major reference document for investors who are constantly on the lookout for places with best environments for their investment.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw