Ranking is an important incentive in human development. It breeds a spirit of competition as people want to outdo each other.
When Kenyan World Marathon Champion Eliud Kipchoge set his sights on breaking the historic run under two hours, he had one thing that kept him moving and focused and he had coined it: “No Human Is Limited”.
The rest, as we say, is history and historical; he achieved his goal and set a new world record.
The World Bank Doing Business report is not about setting records but performance. It ranks countries according to their performance basing on several indicators.
Rwanda has been performing relatively well over the years, but this year it slipped a few slots and understandably, it was not happy. It seems the World Bank included a new indicator at the last minute, having at least 10 companies listed on the local Stock Exchange which Rwanda does not.
So, for government officials to dwell so much on the rankings (which by the way was exceptional having taken the second position on the continent again), they should instead look at the performance; did they fair well? Are they on the right track?
The report pointed out areas that need improvement and that is where the focus should be. For example, on the issues of protecting minority shareholders, the score was average. What can be done to improve it?
The same goes for enforcing contracts where it takes 230 days to solve a commercial dispute yet in Singapore, it takes half the time.
As noted earlier, it is not about ranking but how to improve the business climate.