Commercial Courts showing the way

The mantra that has been repeated over and over at all levels of Rwandan leadership is ‘implementation.’ Rwanda has won global accolades for the speed of its reforms as affirmed by the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business Report 2010’ that ranked Rwanda the top reformer.

The mantra that has been repeated over and over at all levels of Rwandan leadership is ‘implementation.’ Rwanda has won global accolades for the speed of its reforms as affirmed by the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business Report 2010’ that ranked Rwanda the top reformer.

However, simply putting in place relevant reforms is, in itself, of little consequence unless these reforms are acted upon. Among the many reforms that the Rwandan government made, was the setting up of a commercial court system.

These commercial courts, which were established in May 2008, had the task of settling disputes that came into their jurisdiction. This legal reform was essential for the future investment prospects of Rwanda especially in as far as attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) are concerned.

Rwanda had to assure potential investors that there is legal system in place to settle any commercial disputes.

These courts have taken their task seriously. Within the short time that they have been in place, commercial courts have completed 81.5 percent of the cases referred to them. Out of the over 6,800 cases received, 3,300 were backlog, some pending in other courts of law for more than 8-10 years.

That the large percentage of these cases have been disposed of is simply impressive.

However, while these courts are to be extolled, their good work will come to naught unless other departments work just as hard to implement their tasks.

It makes no sense to have one area, in this case the legal one, doing well while another essential sector such as customer care hardly measures up.

To ensure real and sustained development, reforms must be implemented and begin to bear fruit. The commercial courts have shown the way, now other sectors must follow suit.  

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