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World Bank Group’s Investment Climate Survey Supports Rwanda’s Business Reform Agenda

Kigali, Rwanda, 23 August 2010 — The Investment Climate Advisory Services of the World Bank Group and Rwanda’s Ministry of Trade and Industry today outlined a strategy to help Rwanda build on recent, successful reforms that have lowered costs and simplified procedures for businesses, while attracting domestic and foreign investment.
At an event held at the World Bank’s office in Kigali and attended by public and private stakeholders, Rwanda’s government presented the findings of an Investment Climate Survey of 340 businesses in Kigali and Butare that pinpointed areas in need of reform to help Rwanda transform from an agrarian to a knowledge-based economy.
The survey, which studied microenterprises, manufacturing firms, retail, construction, hotels, and other businesses, found that ongoing reforms should lead to better access to electricity, transport, and finance for the country’s growing private sector, further reducing operating costs.
The survey also found that Rwanda would benefit from greater participation in regional infrastructure investment and services initiatives, including efforts to improve cross‐border transit systems, power pools, and regional skills development programs.
IFC Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Jean Philippe Prosper, said, “Strong government commitment, a clear agenda, and the unwavering support of stakeholders have helped Rwanda achieve enormous success reforming its investment climate. The Investment Climate Advisory Services of the World Bank Group is committed to helping Rwanda enact further reforms, and in helping establish a national public-private dialogue forum.”
The World Bank Group and the European Union will continue to help Rwanda strengthen its business environment, but will increasingly focus on supporting the country’s efforts to attract investment through the creation of the dialogue forum, the promotion of special economic zones, and by encouraging more efficient business taxation.
At the Kigali event, Prosper presented the Doing Business 2010 Global Best Reformer award to Rwanda’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Monique Nsanzabaganwa, recognizing Rwanda as the world’s top business reformer – the first time an African country has claimed this distinction.
With Support from the Investment Climate Advisory Services of the World Bank Group, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, Rwanda jumped 76 places to reach number 67 in the World Bank’s 2010 global ranking of the ease of doing business.
The World Bank Group is helping Rwanda improve its business environment, build institutions, and reduce the cost of doing business through the Competitiveness and Enterprise Development Project and the Rwanda Investment Climate Reform Program.  
About the Investment Climate Advisory Services of the World Bank Group
The Investment Climate Advisory Services of the World Bank Group helps governments implement reforms to improve their business environment, and encourage and retain investment, thus fostering competitive markets, growth and job creation. Funding is provided by the World Bank Group (IFC, MIGA, and the World Bank) and over fifteen donor partners working through the multidonor FIAS platform.