KIGALI - RWANDA was for the first time this year included in the Global Competitiveness Survey, where she emerged ahead of her East African counterparts and 6th overall in Africa.
The annual Global Competitiveness Report published Thursday in Beijing, China, by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF), places Rwanda 80th globally, out of the total 139 countries analyzed.
Kenya was ranked 106, Tanzania, 113, Uganda 118 and Burundi 137. Different from the World Bank Doing Business rankings, the WEF survey captures a broad range of factors, especially the key strengths and weaknesses affecting an economy.
The report assesses business efficiency, innovation, financial markets, health, education, institutions, infrastructure and other factors.
According to Clare Akamanzi, the Chief Operating officer at Rwanda’s Development Board, the ranking is significant.
“Having joined this survey for the first time and emerged 1st in EAC and 6th in Africa is significant and consistent with our investment climate and competitiveness reforms,” Akamanzi said.
The report attributed Rwanda’s remarkable rankings to the progress the country has been making.
“Rwanda benefits from strong and well-functioning institutions, with very low levels of corruption (certainly related to the government’s non-tolerance policy) and an excellent security environment,” reads part of the latest – 2010-2011, Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) report.
The 515-page report adds that: “Labor markets are highly efficient, financial markets are relatively well developed, and Rwanda is characterized by a high capacity for innovation for a country at its stage of development.”
The survey was based on 12 pillars of competitiveness including the strength of the economy, education and social welfare.
In sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa (54) and Mauritius (55) feature in the top half of the rankings, followed by second-tier best regional performers Namibia (74), Morocco (74) Botswana (76) and Rwanda (80).
Akamanzi pointed out that Rwanda’s current investments are expected to further improve on her rankings.
“Our ongoing investments in ICT, energy, education among others will enable us to do even better, globally, in future reports,” she said.
Switzerland has retained the top spot for the second year and Sweden moved up to second place while Singapore stayed at number three.