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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cabinet Approves Business Reforms

Rwanda has announced radical reforms that it believes will make it even easier for business to start, deal with construction permits, register property and trade across borders.
Announcing the key changes, Rwanda Development Board’s Chief Operating Officer Claire Akamanzi said that Rwanda’s target was to continually become one of the countries in the world where it is easiest to do business.

The reforms announced this Wednesday afternoon include the introduction of free online registration of businesses and the reduction of the registration fee if done at the RDB offices from 25.000 Rwandan francs to 15.000Rwf.

Several application procedures for various services like in the construction industry have been merged from 14 to 6 procedures relieving clients of interaction with utility providers. This now means that in a single application form, a client will apply for a construction permit, connections for water, electricity and telephones. Inspections and invoices will also be issued simultaneously. 

Announcing the key changes, Rwanda Development Board’s Chief Operating Officer Claire Akamanzi said that Rwanda’s target was to continually become one of the countries in the world where it is easiest to do business.

However, the body tasked with spearheading the reforms in the country was put to task over the reduction of the registration fee from 25,000Rwf to 15,000rwf with some feeling that it should be free all together.

This latest reforms are aimed at making the business environment in Rwanda more favorable to existing and potential investors among others. Rwanda maintained reforms aimed at easing doing business, moving up 12 positions in the “Doing Business 2010” Report, the eighth publication of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank.

This year Rwanda was ranked the 2nd best reformer, only beaten by Kazakhstan. Last year it took the top spot.
Whether these reforms will help propel Rwanda to an even better position in the next World Bank Doing Business report and whether the changes will help increase foreign direct investment into the country, only time will tell.

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