Rwanda is the best place to do business in East Africa. This according to a World Bank report published this week. The Doing Business in the East African Community 2010 report placed Kenya second after Rwanda in the region.
The report states that despite Kenya enjoying a business-friendly environment, doing business in Kenya is more challenging for investors compared to Rwanda. Rwanda emerged as the global top reformer in 2008/09 for carrying out seven out of the nine reforms enacted in the region over the review period. Reforms include:
- facilitating trade across borders;
- property registration;
- commercial laws and institutions; and
- access to credit.
According to the report (covering up to June 2009), Kenya only carried out minimal reforms during the review period compared to Rwanda, which undertook a wide range of changes.
Kenya’s Permanent Secretary in the East African Community (EAC) Ministry, David Nalo, said although Rwanda was rated the best in the region, Kenya may have overtaken Rwanda due to many reforms carried out in recent months.
“The cost of doing business in Kenya has reduced and we expect the situation will continue to improve as more reforms continue to be implemented,” he said. He identified poor infrastructure, for example the Mombasa-Nairobi–Kigali road, as challenges to doing business in the region.
Sylvia Solf of the World Bank said none of the East African countries made it into the global top 30. The average ranking for East African countries stood at 116 out of 183 economies overall.
Solf, who co-authored the report, said Kenya is performing well but should endorse reforms in all the economic sectors to attract more investments and maximise opportunities that come with its strategic position in the region by reducing the cost of doing business.