KIGALI - The World Bank Country Director, Johannes Zutt, has urged African countries to learn from Rwanda’s rapid business transformation to improve the business climate and attract investment in their countries.
Zutt made the remarks during the 2nd Doing Business in Africa summit taking place in Kigali that attracted over 100 delegates from Eastern and Southern Africa, to share reform experiences on how to improve the business climate in their respective countries.
The two-day summit was organized by the Regional Multidisciplinary Centre for Excellence (RMCE) with the support of the World Bank and Rwanda Development Board (RDB).
Addressing the delegates, Zutt said that Rwanda being the top reformer in doing business in 2010, serves as an example to willing African governments that they can improve their business ranking by implementing the right policies.
“One of the reasons the World Bank wanted to have this discussion here is to enable other countries present to learn from the Rwandan experience; Rwanda shows us that, that sort of improvement in the business environment can be done,” Zutt said.
“It shows that when it is done, the world notices; today the world knows that Rwanda’s government and the people are open for business.”
He added that the country’s friendliness to the private sector is an important message to Africa, since it’s the sector capable of improving economies drastically.
“It is the private sector that creates jobs, not the public sector. It is the private sector that expands agribusiness, industry, manufacturing and innovations that expand the market,” Zutt noted.
John Gara, the CEO of RDB, said that easing doing business is a prime focus in the region, as countries try to attract foreign investors and mobilize domestic entrepreneurs.
“In Rwanda, participating in the World Bank rankings has been a very useful yardstick to measure our performance and also to set realistic targets,” Gara said.
“This is a great opportunity for us to share experience and learn from our neighbours in order to improve the investment climate in the Eastern and Southern African region.”
Participants also discussed improving cross-border trade, property registration and contract enforcement, among others.