Last week was a very joyful and soul lifting time for many Rwandans and people living in Rwanda as we heard about the World Bank Doing Business Report.
We are proud of the big jump Rwanda made and this calls for celebration not only here but throughout Africa.
This is a true sign that the efforts of the government and people of Rwanda is paying off.
As an African, this shows me that with good leadership in our countries, doubled with the hard work and determination of its people, we can do a lot.
But then, what this ranking actually means to the ordinary people like you and me is that, the whole world will see Rwanda differently. It shows a conducive and favorable business environment for investment.
Investments mean more businesses, job creation, more opportunities; simply put the growth of our economy. But as many tourists and investors decide to come here, we need to prepare ourselves to receive them.
Just like when we prepare our homes to receive visitors by cleaning our houses, backyards, kitchen, washrooms etc., we also need to get ourselves ready through our skills, attitudes and processes.
I would like to draw your attention to the following areas that need to be given consideration while awaiting more visitors here.
This is the first contact every visitor will have of the country. We need to make sure that our airport respects international security and quality standards.
For instance, the last time I was traveling out of the country, I was asked to take off my shoes to go through the screening security checkpoint leading to the boarding room upstairs.
But unfortunately, there was no mat under that screening machine. It meant that I had to walk bare footed and probably attract many infections and bacteria.
This is an international airport and things have to be done properly. In other western countries, there are specific socks available for passengers who have to take off their shoes to go through the security check point.
I will also like here to suggest to the authorities of the airport to kindly avail the immigration forms and now the health forms with the airlines so that passengers could fill them in the plane before landing.
After long hour’s flights, no one wants to waste more time in filling two different forms.
Hotels and Restaurants
Today there are many hotels opening up and this is a good thing we appreciate. But then, do these hotels respect the norms and standards expected of classified hotels?
Owners of these hotels should not just put “anyone” there to fill the gaps.
Hospitality is a real business that needs professional people just like any other business.
The National Press
Every visitor, upon arriving wants to have a feeling of the social, economic and political environment of the country through the local media. Our national press needs to be of good quality.
I acknowledge the effort the National Television is making but really, there is still a lot to be done to reach the minimum standards of at least the television stations in the region.
What amazes me is that none of my Rwandan friends watch the RTV and they do not understand why I do so because there are just two or three programmes in English or French.
I will therefore appeal to the authorities to support them more so that they can make this television more attractive not only to Rwandans but also to foreigners coming and living here.
Ministries and Government Institutions
Almost every investor will deal with a government institution when he/she arrives here.
It‘s often said that public servants are the worst in customer service but I want to believe that there are exceptional and professional people even at the public institutions.
Effective customer service trainings and Basic English courses should be offered to all public servants.
And before I forget, let’s make sure that our offices are clean.
I have often seen many “cheap” artificial flowers, most at times, full of dust in many ministries and government institutions.
Could someone look into this? Government institutions are the mirror of this country and they should promote horticulture by having fresh and beautiful flowers available here.
I’m sure if we all pay attention to these details, visitors to Rwanda will definitely be even more impressed by this country.
The author is a customer service expert working in Rwanda