Doing Business: How Rwanda Rose To the Top


this site geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>Rwanda, price Côte d’Ivoire, and Burundi were among the 10 economies globally improving business regulation the most.

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“Doing Business 2014: Understanding Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises” found that of the 20 economies improving business regulation the most since 2009, 9 are in Sub-Saharan Africa: Burundi, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, Rwanda, Togo, Benin, Guinea, Liberia, and Côte d’Ivoire.

The report’s data show that, of 47 economies in the region, 31 implemented at least one business regulatory reform in 2012/13.

For the case of Rwanda, it implemented the most in the region, with reforms in 8 of the 10 areas tracked by Doing Business.

Three African economies made the biggest progress globally in an area measured by the report: Burundi in the ease of registering property, Benin in the ease of trading across borders, and Côte d’Ivoire in the ease of enforcing contracts.

How did Rwanda get to the top?

The World Bank rankings are so significant in attracting foreign direct investments that have since propelled Rwanda’s economy on a strong foundation towards self-reliance.

Rwanda was recognized for making improvements in two areas of regulations: Enforcing Contracts (39th) and Getting Electricity (49th).

The country made enforcing contracts easier by implementing an electronic filing system for initial complaints whereas the country eased getting electricity by reducing the cost of obtaining a new connection by 30 percent. Rwanda’s ranking per indicator has improved.

Looking at areas where Rwanda is still strong, the Starting a Business rank has remained the 8th easiest in the world, with Company registration taking only two procedures and the whole process of incorporation is concluded in just 6 hours. In ease of Paying Taxes, Rwanda is 25th easiest place globally.

According to Rwanda Development Board (RDB) head of operations, Clare Akamanzi, Rwanda recognizes that the momentum to reform should be maintained if not doubled and in particular where the country has challenges.

Beyond the Doing Business index, Rwanda’s performance is consistent with the World Economic Forum (WEF) Competitiveness index where for the second year running, Rwanda emerged among the top countries (3rd) in Sub-Sahara Africa.

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

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon. Kanimba Francois welcomed the report: “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.”

“For all these records, Rwanda’s performance in this year’s index is a sign of the country’s commitment to achieving its economic goals,” said Akamanzi.

“This demonstrates Rwanda’s commitment and consistency in its vision of economic development. We will work very hard to address remaining challenges to make Rwanda even more attractive as a business destination,” she added.

She said Rwanda’s commitment to private sector development has facilitated growth in exports, domestic investment and foreign direct investment inflows-and the implementation of effective fiscal policies supported by structural and institutional reforms.

Business reforms

Starting in 2000, Rwanda developed a strong institutional pipeline for designing and implementing business regulation reforms.

Since 2004 Rwanda has substantially improved access to credit, streamlined procedures for starting a business, reduced the time to register property, simplified cross-border trade and made courts more accessible for resolving commercial disputes.

Rwanda is among more than 35 economies where the Executive branch has made private sector development a priority by establishing institutions whose main purpose is to design and implement business regulation reforms.


Augusto Lopez-Claros, Director, Global Indicators and Analysis, World Bank Group, observed: “It is encouraging to see so many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa engaged in reforms aimed at reducing burdensome regulations and building up stronger legal institutions.”

Singapore tops the global ranking on the ease of doing business. Joining it on the list of the top 10 economies with the most business-friendly regulations are Hong Kong SAR, China; New Zealand; the United States; Denmark; Malaysia; the Republic of Korea; Georgia; Norway; and the United Kingdom.


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