Business leaders, entrepreneurs and key public sector workers who are hungry to find solutions to stimulate growth and efficiency in their organizations, have joined Citi FM’s Hello Kigali business tour to Rwanda.
The Rwanda has been praised for its successes in eliminating overly bureaucratic and corrupt systems in its public sectors using technology and friendly legal regimes.
Businesses are also thriving in the Rwandan economy, which has seen an average growth of about 7 percent in the last 10 years, pushed by manufacturing, agriculture, construction and services.
Some of the government institutions that will host participants include the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), the Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) and the Government Online service (Irembo) which have been influential in creating the conducive environment to attract investments into the East African country.
They are expected to learn from the efficient and reliable government online services that have over the years, propelled the growth of the country from key government sectors.
Other highlights of the trip include a visit to the Kigali Free Zone, Rwanda Natural Resources Authority (RNRA), as well as Rwanda’s Commercial High Court.
The Rwandan courts are known to have a paperless system which fast-tracks court processes and judgement of cases, especially those that apply to businesses. Rwanda has leveraged on the application of technology, making it the leading sub-Saharan country with the most affordable internet, according to Alliance for Affordable Internets 2015-16 affordability report released on February 22, 2016.
Accompanying the business leaders to Kigali is the Head of the Business Desk at Citi FM, Vivian Kai Lokko.
According to her, there are too many complaints about bureaucracies in our business sector, which curtail growth, and it is time to stop the talk shop and find practical solutions to turn things around.
“Most businesses are looking for solutions to propel their growth and we all know the narrative that companies in third world countries do not perform exceptionally compared to their counterparts in Europe, the US and other developed economies.
The Rwandan case study shows that it is possible for business and for that matter countries in Africa to rub shoulders with their foreign counterparts; be it on growth, efficiency and profitability,” she said.
Rwanda’s economy plunged into the doldrums after the genocide in the mid-1990s, but statistics show that today, the people live wealthy and healthier lives than most Africans.
Poverty levels have reduced significantly with growth rates better than the continent’s biggest economy South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Botswana and even Ghana.
One of the participants, the CEO of Emerald Properties, Henry Quartey, said he expects the tour to influence his business operations to maximize returns.
“Rwanda has been touted for a lot of good things; my goal is to go there and learn how they were able to transform the economy from a war-torn one to a leading economy. I also want to explore and take advantage of business opportunities in real estate and other industries.”
According to the Country Manager for RwandAir in Ghana, Shukrani Edy Hemedy, Rwanda has managed a quick comeback after the genocide due to the adoption of technology to boost its business operations.
“We have indeed expanded our technology offers from our airlines through to the commercial buses. Another way is that President Kagame himself is promoting IT in the country with his strong presence on social media platforms. This automatically attracts people to engage in the same way and makes it relatively cheaper to offer technology services,” he stated.
“Every new high-rise building must have internet connection otherwise you will not have a construction permit. It’s the way forward as everything is going online now,” the Legal Consultant and Head of Doing Business at the Rwanda Development Board, Karim Tushabe, told Citi Business News ahead of the tour.
A business desk report