Rwanda scores high in competitiveness index

KIGALI - For the second year running, Rwanda has emerged among the top countries in Sub-Saharan Africa on the competitiveness index released, yesterday, by the World Economic Forum (WEF).The Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) is based on 12 indicators that include the strength of the economy, education and social welfare.
A growing financial sector is one of the indicators that saw Rwanda perform well in the WEF index.The New Times /File.
A growing financial sector is one of the indicators that saw Rwanda perform well in the WEF index.The New Times /File.

KIGALI - For the second year running, Rwanda has emerged among the top countries in Sub-Saharan Africa on the competitiveness index released, yesterday, by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) is based on 12 indicators that include the strength of the economy, education and social welfare.

Rwanda emerged third in Africa behind Mauritius and South Africa.

Globally, Rwanda ranked 70th, ten spots better than its previous ranking on the GCI 2010/11.

“The report shows that Africa’s competitiveness has been improving in recent years in specific areas, with many countries ensuring more sustainable fiscal policies, better-managed inflation and more efficient markets,” the report released in Geneva reads in part.

Clare Akamanzi, the Chief Operations Officer at Rwanda Development Board (RDB), said that Rwanda’s improvement in this year's index is a sign of the country’s commitment to achieving its economic goals.

“This demonstrates Rwanda's commitment and consistency in its vision of economic development,” she said..

“We have seen consistent improvement, both in competitiveness and ease of doing business. Rwanda continues to be one of the top places to invest in Africa”.

The country excelled in creating a conducive environment for business and investment, advancing technology as well as promoting other development pillars such as infrastructure, education, opening the labour market, among others.

WEF, which conducts the annual survey, is designed to capture a broad range of factors affecting an economy’s business climate, placed Rwanda in the second tier, best regional performer, beating her regional neighbours by a large margin.

Kenya, the closest in the second tier is ranked at 102nd from 106th, while Tanzania and Uganda closely follow each other at the position of 120 and 121, respectively.

Burundi is the second last from the bottom, at 137 out of 139 on the index which evaluates 142 states.

WEF, however, revealed that many African countries are low in the ranking with 13 of the 20 lowest-ranked economies from Africa.

It, however, advised that African economies must continue to develop economic environments that are based on productivity enhancements.

“This means keeping a clear focus on strengthening the institutional, physical and human capital prerequisites for a strong and competitive private sector-led development,” the world body says.

According to Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the WEF, the results show that while competitiveness in advanced economies has stagnated over the past seven years, in many emerging markets, it has improved.

He attributed the growth on a more stable footing and mirroring the shift in economic activity from advanced to emerging economies.
 
The Global Competitiveness Report’s competitiveness ranking is based on the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), developed for the World Economic Forum by Sala-i-Martin and introduced in 2004.

The GCI comprises 12 categories – the pillars of competitiveness – which together provide a comprehensive picture of a country’s competitiveness landscape.

The pillars include institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training and goods market efficiency.

Others include labour market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size and business sophistication and innovation.

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