Rwanda still East Africa's best place to do business

Wednesday October 26 2016

A business street in Kigali, Rwanda. The east African country remains the best places to set up business in the region, a new World Bank report says. PHOTO | FILE

Reforms have made it easier to do business in four out of six East African Community countries, a new World Bank report says.

Rwanda remained the easiest place to start a business in the region, moving three places up globally, according the World Bank's Doing Business 2017 report released in Kampala Wednesday.

Rwanda is ranked 56 from 59 last year. This makes the country the second easiest within which to do business in sub-Saharan Africa after Mauritius, which is ranked 49th.

Kenya, the bloc's biggest economy though at the second place was the most improved, moving 21 places up the ranking from 113 last year to 92. This puts Kenya among the 10 best reformers in the world.

The World Bank attributes the positive shift to implementation of different reforms especially on infrastructure investment.

According to the report, Kenya made starting a business easier by removing stamp duty fees required for the nominal capital, memorandum and articles of association and eliminating requirements to sign the compliance declaration before a commissioner of oaths.


Kenya was also the only Sub-Saharan Africa economy to improve resolving insolvency regulations without being a member of the Organisation for the Harmonisation of Business Law in Africa (OHADA).

East Africa's largest economy also improved access to electricity for business.

The laggards

On its part, Uganda introduced at least three reforms last year. That boosted the country's ranking from position 122 in 2015 to 115 this year.

Kampala made trading across borders easier by introduction of the Malaba One-Stop Border Post, the elimination of paper submission in the filing tax returns and the removal of the requirement that a commissioner of oaths must sign compliance declarations.

Tanzania, which is now ranked 132nd from 144th last year, gained in the area of access to credit. The country's credit bureau system, which had by January 2016 registered 6.5 per cent of the adult population is expected to ease the cost of lending out money.

Troubled by civil strife, Burundi and South Sudan, the bloc's newest members remain the least ranked.