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Doing Business 2020: Processing Construction Permits Made Easier


According to the World Bank Doing Business report-2020, Rwanda is highly ranked 35th globally in starting a business with a 93.2% score.

Obtaining a business certificate takes only half a day.

According to the World Bank, the ranking of economies on the ease of starting a business is determined by sorting their scores for starting a business. These scores are the simple average of the scores for each of the component indicators.

Before Rwanda began reforming, there existed only one notary to serve the entire country. This means that the volume of requests meant a long wait brfore a business certificate was issued.

However, after an aggressive overhaul of the company law in 2009, hundreds of new notaries made starting a business faster. Entrepreneurs no longer needed to use the services of a notary; they could use standard forms instead.

The ambitious reforms also saw introduction of an online system for publishing the registration notice replacing requirements for physical publication.

And a new one-stop shop has streamlined business registration by reducing the number of interactions required from 9 to 2.

The time required to start a business fell from 18 days to 3, and the cost from 235% of income per capita to 4%.

In the recent assessment comparing Business regulations in 190 economies, it would cost zero for anyone starting a business in Rwanda making the East African Country the second easiest place to do business in Africa.

Statistics from Rwanda Development Board indicate that in 2010, Rwanda attracted $400million of investments but in 2018 it managed to register a whopping $2billion of investments after implementing numerous reforms.

“The reform cycle starts in October  when the World Bank doing business report is published and we get a sense of which areas Rwanda has to improve or where things went wrong,” says Chief Strategy and Compliance officer at the Rwanda Development Board.

Construction Permits

Rwanda has this year been ranked 81st position globally in how it has made it easy to process a construction permit. And in this particular indicator, Rwanda scored 70.6%.

Last year, it took 113 days in obtaining necessary licenses and permits (Both before and after construction), submitting all required notifications, requesting and receiving all necessary inspections and obtaining utility connections. But now this year the days to obtain the mentioned approvals and notifications have cut to 97 days.

The construction permits are processed online and building company can apply for the building permit, the environmental impact assessment Certificate and water connection at the one-stop center (OSC) and secure a permit within 30 days.

Rwanda published a new Ministerial Order determining categorization of buildings and procedures for applying for and granting building permits to eliminate the requirement for a geotechnical study for small scale, non-complex building projects that are for ordinary use and also eliminated the requirements  to obtain a mandatory Topographic survey and Environmental impact assessment.

According, Fred Mugisha, the City of Kigali Engineer, Rwanda made dealing with construction permits faster by reducing the time to obtain a water and sewage connection.

“Rwanda also improved building quality control by requiring all construction professionals to obtain liability insurance on buildings once in use,” Eng Mugisha said.

He added that there is a plan to conduct a strong awareness campaign to different stakeholders and make sure that all other reforms that were not captured be included in the Doing abusiness report of 2021. 

Full report here 

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