Rwanda named best African country for business by World Bank

  • Written by  Harry Menear

Rwanda has been named the best country for doing business in Africa by the 2019 World Bank Ease of Doing Business report in conjunction with Africa.com.

According to Africa.com, investors can no longer expect blanket growth and interchangeable socio-political situations across the region; “it’s so important to understand the unique situation in each market to achieve success.”

With an average annual growth rate of 6% since 2000, Rwanda’s economy is expanding on par with the fastest in Africa. In 2018, the country exported US$5.8mn worth of goods to the United States. While this represents a small portion of the $1bn milestone hit by East African exports in the past year, Rwanda increased its export value by 59%, making it one of the most dramatic examples of growth in the region. Globally, Rwanda was ranked by the World Bank as more conducive to business than Spain, Russia and France.

The country has also taken long term-steps to curtail corruption in the past sixteen years, introducing more business reforms since the inception of the report than any other African nation.

The major positive factor that secured Rwanda’s place atop the best in business is the ease of establishing a new company within its borders. According to the World Bank report, “digitization was a common theme among the business regulatory reforms recorded by [sub-Saharan economies]... Rwanda streamlined the process of starting a business by replacing its electronic billing machine system with new software that allows taxpayers to issue value added tax invoices.”

The report continues: “The free software, which is provided by the office of the Revenue Authority, allows taxpayers to issue value added tax invoices from any printer, eliminating the previous requirement to purchase and set up a special billing machine.”

Africa.com reports that “Last year, [Rwanda] replaced its stifling special billing machine system for value-added tax invoices with free software that allows taxpayers to issue value-added tax invoices from any printer.”

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