What Africa could learn from Rwanda ? thoughts from a lawyer

5/26/2014
How We Made it in Africa

Despite the economic growth seen by many African economies in recent years and the attention they have received by multinational corporations and investors, the continent is still home to some of the most difficult business environments in the world. In fact, according to the rankings of the World Bank and IFC’s 2014 global Doing Business report, 16 of the 20 most difficult countries in which to do business are in Africa.

However, Jacqueline Musiitwa, founder and managing partner of the Hoja Law Group, believes that many African governments are beginning to look for ways to make their countries more “agreeable” for business.

“I think increasingly, because of the World Bank’s Doing Business ranking, a lot of [governments] are seeing a correlation between increasing all of the aspects on those rankings and an increase in the amount of investment. I think Rwanda has definitely shown countries in Africa that if you do that, it is one way to increase your investment,” said Musiitwa, who has experience advising African governments and has served as an advisor to the Rwandan Minister of Justice concerning investment, trade and infrastructure.

The Doing Business rankings released last year revealed that Rwanda had shot up a whopping 22 places since the previous year, now 32nd. According to Musiitwa, there is a lot that other African governments can learn from this small East African country.

“I think, for a lot of policy work, it kind of starts with what governments are actually noticing other countries doing,” she told How we made it in Africa.

Making it easier to register a business

“I think Rwanda’s biggest claim to fame has been, at the outset, making it easier to register a business,” emphasised Musiitwa.

In the Doing Business report, Rwanda was ranked at an impressive ninth place in...

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