Can Rwanda be more Than a Pretend Economic Power?

THE VISIT to one of the smallest nations in the heart of Africa dusts off an old bromide: Rwanda has a great future–and always will. This lash, green, county-size country seemingly made enormous strides after going through a disastrous political dégringolade that led to Genocide in 1994, and all the crisis to follow in the aftermath. Inflation was halted, and antibusiness regulations were eased. Combined with the global trade boom of the last decade, these measures sent Rwanda’s economy roaring ahead, and the country’s GDP exponentially climbing over the last few decades. It looks as though Rwanda has made the leap to developing status and is, in terms of the size of its economy growth, ready to surge past neighboring countries as Burundi and DRC. It is been proved that Rwanda is showing positive signs of competing in the global market.

rwanda GDP

 

Source: World Bank

As I have recently spoken in an assay about Foreign aid to Africa, nations that change their mentality of waiting for aid, but focus on growing markets and trade eventually start to grow their economies. Rwanda is now the most competitive place to do business in East Africa and 3rd in Africa.  Rwanda is now politically stable with well-functioning institutions, rule of law and zero tolerance for corruption.  It has an 8% average year-on-year GDP growth, stable inflation and exchange rate. These impressive achievements by Rwanda are driven by a clear vision for growth through private investment set out by President Kagame. He has held incentive meetings around the world calling for investments in Rwanda, and he’s adopted a culture of cutting foreign aids little by little with a goal of making Rwanda self-sufficient.

President Kagame, assumed office on 24 March 2000, largely prevailed compared to other candidates to win a second term. The big question was whether he’d turn away from the statist policies that have long plagued and crippled Rwanda’s economy or place his country firmly on the road to the perdition of likes of Burundi and DRC, where stagnation, shrinking political freedom, populist demagoguery and corruption were the norm.

If some wants Rwanda to become a global economic powerhouse rather than an oversize backwater, that person is Paul Kagame. When you online to the World Bank’s annual study and ranking of 189 economies, Doing Business, which measures “the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it.” Rwanda rates excellently, with an overall ranking of 3rd on the African continent. Four categories stand out in which Rwanda wins.

 

– Starting a business.

Starting a business has never been simpler or faster. To register a local enterprise or a foreign subsidiary, the Rwandan Development Board (RDB) provides a quick and efficient registration service allowing to have a business incorporated within 6 hours. The process involves simultaneously obtaining the certificate of incorporation (business registration), Tax Identification Number (tax registration) and the Social Security registration for employee pension submission.

– Dealing with construction permits.

Thanks to Kigali’s new online Construction Permit Management Information System (MIS)—implemented with the support of the World Bank Group’s Rwanda Investment Climate Program in partnership with Investment Climate Facility for Africa. The technology makes acquisition of construction permits faster, simpler, and easier by automating the procedures for application processing and review. In addition, it improves the management information provided to the Kigali’s construction one stop center and Department of Urban Planning.

– Registering property.

– Paying taxes.

Of course, one should mention the socio-economic changes that are apparent due to the acculturation. The globalization of our planet has seen Rwandan kids going to schools abroad and for instance the Huffington post recently said, “Rwanda Could Be The Next Silicon Valley: But it Needs Youth to Help it Get There”. There’s power in youth of Rwanda. Tech Startups, nonprofit foundations and nationwide economic projects are being risen by the Rwandan Youth.

 

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