Why Rwanda beats African peers in race for economic growth

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By GEORGE WACHIRA

A view of Kigali: Rwanda intends to become a developed climate-resilient and low-carbon economy by 2050.

A view of Kigali: Rwanda intends to become a developed climate-resilient and low-carbon economy by 2050.

The NTSA is also likely to find out that Rwanda’s fines payments system is efficient, effective and convenient and not prone to encouraging corrupted shortcuts.

I have not viewed Rwanda’s safety statistics, but these I am sure are bound to be far much better than in Kenya.

As I sat at the Kigali Airport departure lodge waiting for the delayed Kenya Airways flight, I read a magazine publicising Rwanda’s economic achievements and plans, meant for the Global African Investment Summit 2016 which had taken place in Kigali a week earlier. In this magazine one can see through the policies and principles that have differentiated Rwanda and attracted many.

Key among them is Rwanda’s achievement in economic governance, which is well exemplified by the latest 2015 World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index rankings that put Rwanda on top of Africa with a ranking of 62 out of 189 countries of the world.

Kenya had a ranking of 108. Achieving such a strong ranking is definitely a culmination of many deliberate steps of implementing the correct sectoral policies over time.

The same magazine states that a key strength of Rwanda is fight against corruption whose talk has been successfully walked by the Rwandans.

This success is, according to the report, reflected all the way from high-level officials, to middle posts down to the lower levels of public service. This is a key factor that has endeared foreign investors and players to the Rwandan economy.

Rwanda’s economy is expanding rapidly at 6.8 per cent in 2016 and with an outlook of 7.2 per cent for 2017. Its key areas of focus have been infrastructure, ICT, tourism and agriculture.

Reading the magazine one detects a strong emphasis on private capital and involvement in national economic development. Rwanda is targeting to be a hub linking East Africa with Central and West Africa through trade and communication — both land and air.

A ride through the city of Kigali reveals a new skyline with numerous new high-rise buildings, and expansive residential estate developments.

The most significant and recent landmark is of course the new Kigali Convention Centre, which is quite ideal for regional and international conferencing, supported by the newly refurbished Kigali Airport and the fast growing Rwanda Air.

Yes there is a lot a country can learn from Rwanda, for indeed in many areas of socio-economic governance and developments, the country is gradually becoming the region’s best practice.

Mr Wachira is director of Petroleum Focus Consultants. Wachira@petroleumfocus.com

 

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