KIGALI - For the second year running, Rwanda has been declared as one of the world’s best reformers in the latest World Bank Doing Business (DB)” report was released today.
This year Rwanda was ranked the 2nd best reformer in doing business, only beaten by Kazakhstan. Last year it took top spot.
The report benchmarks regulations that enhance business activities and as well as those that hamper business. It focuses on business regulation and protection of property rights.
Ranked at 58th overall in the world, Rwanda has technically jumped 12 places from last year’s 67th position of the 183 countries surveyed in the report dubbed “Making a Difference for Entrepreneurs”. It was ranked 158th in the 2009 Doing Business report.
The report is the eighth published by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank.
It underlines Rwanda as taking the lead globally in facilitating the business community acquire construction permits, getting credit and trading across borders.
“The result is well deserved. What is more impressive than the rank, is that we are still leading in sub-Saharan Africa (3rd), but above all, we are the second top global reformer,” Frank Twagira, the Co-ordinator of the National “Doing Business” Task Force at RDB , told The New Times yesterday.
Last year for the first time, Rwanda became the first Sub-Saharan African country to emerge as the world’s top reformer, based on the number and impact of reforms implemented between June 2008 and May 2009.
“This shows much deeper commitment to reform and consolidating the gains we have had over the last few years, so it should not come as a surprise that we are still ranked that high,” Twagira observed.
Reflecting on the impact so far of 2010 ranking, Twagira underscored that tangible results have been achieved though an official monitoring and evaluation assessment of the impact of the report has yet to be released.
“We have seen an increase in the number of companies, both international and local. We have also seen a shift from business operating from the informal sector to formal sector,” he said.
The official also noted that the Task Force has also focused on deepening reforms implemented last year to address broader business climate issues.
Achieving the World Bank ranking as a top reformer for 2010, Twagira said, was the first step as the country is broadening reforms.
“We have been positioning ourselves to go beyond Doing Business indicators. We are going to focus on a broader set of indicators that do not necessary have to fit in any form of publication,”
The new strategy for business reforms, Twagira said, will now shift focus to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and involving the private sector.
“We are going to adopt an approach that is more centred on SMEs and overall on competitiveness – how Rwanda and the business can become more competitive in the globalised environment.”
Other key reforms implemented this year include: setting up the first private credit reference bureau , streamlining property and company transactions, introducing online transactions such as tax calculation and setting up a “One Stop Centre” for construction permits.
In the East African region, Kenya comes second in ranking at 98th, followed by Uganda at 122th position, Tanzania 128th while Burundi was 181th of the 183 countries surveyed.
Singapore retained the top ranking on the ease of doing business this year, followed by Hong Kong, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, Denmark, Canada, Norway, Ireland and Australia.