Two years ago, Kigali City announced it was putting in place the necessary amenities that would enable traders, especially within the central business district to operate on a 24hr system.
At the time, Kigali was marking its centenary and the leadership envisioned laying out place a road map for transforming the nation’s capital into a modern city.
One of the many strategies on paper was the introduction of a 24 hour business operation calendar.
Indeed a key yardstick used in measuring growth of a modern city, is the vibrancy with which its central business district operates, partly determined by the number of hours business establishments are open.
Unfortunately ever since Kigali City introduced this measure, our traders seem to be shying away from this opportunity.
As we reported yesterday, blame is being apportioned on non-tangible issues, a clear indication that the heart of the city’s business operations is still asleep.
Whilst some traders have cast blame on City authorities for not doing enough to publicise the much-needed development, others have attributed the sluggishness on the now receding global economic downturn.
Given the importance attached to this initiative, especially in as far as realising Kigali’s development goals is concerned, time for trading accusations should be over.
The City needs this initiative up and running in the shortest time possible, because its residents have been demanding this opportunity.
Without looking far, our next door neighbours, within the East African Community, have their metropolis running normally round the clock, whereas in Kigali, the city centre is virtually asleep by 9pm.
How shall we be able to compete with these cities if there’s no change of attitude, especially on the part of our traders?
Kigali City has also acknowledged that things are not moving at the pace that they should. This calls for City authorities to identify the stumbling blocks and act accordingly.
But this campaign should not be left to KCC alone. Other institutions like the Rwanda Development Board and the Private Sector Federation should come on board and sensitize traders.
We were ranked top global reformer in the Doing Business Report. We therefore need to put this recognition into action.