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Rwanda Introduces New Reforms For Electricity, Construction Permits And Export

As part of the ongoing Government of Rwanda reforms to improve the business climate in the country, three major reforms have been instituted that decrease bureaucracy in construction, ensure timely electricity provision for investors and reduces the amount of time exporters spend at customs.

Today, exporters are able to obtain certificates of origin online.

In addition, exporters are able to apply for the phytosanitary certificate from the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry online.

This has facilitated businesses that export tea, coffee and other agricultural produce.

In terms of electricity provision, Rwanda Energy Group (REG) has introduced a client charter, ensuring that investors are connected to the national grid in not more 20 days, down 34 days.

Today, REG customers can apply online to get connected to the national grid.

In addition, in order to simplify the purchase of the equipment needed for electricity connection such as transformers and cables, REG works with authorized suppliers to reduce the import costs of the equipment while ensuring the quality of equipment.

Alongside the introduction of RURA (Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency) guidelines governing electricity outages to industry, which place sanctions on electricity outages that last more than ten minutes, the automation of SAIDI (System Average Interruption Duration Index) and SAIFI (System Average Interruption Frequency Index) systems, will allow REG to better monitor the frequency and duration of electricity outages.

To ease the challenges in the construction sector, Rwanda has introduced various reforms to reduce bureaucracy in obtaining construction permits.

Today Rwanda utilizes a risk-based approach in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of projects.

In addition, specific construction projects will be exempted from carrying out geotechnical studies before construction commences.

Lastly, businesses will be no longer mandated to indicate the commencement date of construction before obtaining construction permits.

These reforms will reduce the cost and duration of construction projects in Rwanda.

Commenting on the reforms, the Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Board, Clare Akamanzi, said; “This year we will introduce new reforms in addition to the ones that are being announced today. These reforms will include revised insolvency laws, improved contract enforcement and credit monitoring mechanisms.”

Ease of doing business is aligned with the Government of Rwanda’s policy of transforming Rwanda into a private sector-led country.

These business reforms are a significant tool in improving and promoting the business environment in the country through the shared effort of all institutions involved.

“We need to continue working hard to improve our business and investment climate so that Rwanda continues to enable the growth of our private sector and increase foreign direct investment”, she said.

Rwanda was ranked the second easiest place to do business in sub- Saharan Africa and the 41st globally out of the 190 economies assessed in the 2017 World Bank Doing Business report.

Last year, the World Bank Doing Business report revealed significant improvements in a number of growth indicators compared to the previous year.

According to the report, Rwanda recorded its biggest improvement in the area of property registration; it is ranked second in the world.

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