Several members of the local business community have called on Rwanda Development Board (RDB) to decentralise its services, particularly the business registration services.
Despite RDB’s launch of an online registration programme, it does not favour those not conversant with Information Communication Technology (ICT), especially those in rural areas.
Speaking to The New Times yesterday, some traders led by Claude Habimana, an entrepreneur from Rusizi District, said that they were finding it difficult to travel from their localities to RDB offices in Kigali to register their businesses.
“We appeal to RDB to at least establish business registration centres at the district level to enable people to access these services with ease,” he pleaded.
Habimana mentioned that people were facing difficulties registering online, especially those who don’t know how to use ICT services.
According to Hamidu Hakizimana, a fourth year finance student at Kigali Independent University (ULK), RDB should decentralise its services to the local level to consolidate good governance principles and practices.
“RDB operates from Kigali; people come from upcountry, deep in the villages, for instance Kamembe, to register their companies. I find this unfavourable to the business community,” he asserted.
Speaking to The New Times, John Gara, the CEO of RDB, said that his institution has put in place business development centres in some of the rural areas that will be handling registration services.
“We are going to expand the centres to areas where they are not. Our intention is to provide support to these centres so that people can register at their convenient point and at the same time, learn how to register online,” he explained.
Gara admitted that it was indeed tiresome for people to travel from upcountry to Kigali to register their businesses.
“I encourage people to start learning how to use online registration so that it becomes a culture,” he advised.
Gara stated that the institution is currently focusing on boosting the capacity of the private sector in rural areas.
Registering a business at RDB takes only 24 hours and the service combines all registration requirements under one roof which include incorporation, taxes and employee social security.