Rwanda has been ranked top in the World Bank’s “Doing Business in the East African Community (EAC) 2013” report.
This was announced at the launch of the report on Wednesday in Kigali and indicates that Rwanda is the top EAC economy to introduce regulatory reforms that have improved the business environment between 2005 and 2012.
In the report, Rwanda ranked 52nd globally out of 185 countries. Uganda and Kenya were ranked 120 and 121, respectively, while Tanzania came fourth, at position 134 globally. Burundi came last in the region.
The report also highlights Rwanda’s success in cutting red tape and encouraging private sector led growth.
According to the report, 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.
Rwanda was also ranked the second economy globally to advance in closing the gap to the frontier.
The frontier is the highest performance observed on each indicator in the report. The better an economy is doing, the closer it is to 100. Rwanda has gone from 38 in 2006 to 64.5 in 2013.
This, according to the government was facilitated by the implementation of 23 regulatory reforms since 2005 to facilitate a competitive and easy business process.
In her remarks during the report launch, Minister Monique Mukaluriza called on EAC member states to harmonise policies and laws.
“Policies and protocols to improve the business environment for our entrepreneurs should be fast tracked,” she said.
She also urged partner states to copy each other’s best practices so as to improve the region’s competitiveness and attraction of investors.
The report says that over the last year, improvements were seen in all five EAC countries. The report also highlights that e-government initiatives in the region provide an opportunity for easy access to information as well as increasing transparency.
The report also ranked EAC as a regional bloc higher, on average, than COMESA, SADC and ECOWAS.