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Rwanda, a Rising Star in Africa's Economic Landscape
Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills, is a vibrant nation with a population exceeding 13 million people and an estimated GDP of $32 billion (in purchasing power parity terms) as of the end of 2022. Rwanda has been recognized for its efforts in promoting gender equality and has made considerable strides in creating a favorable business environment.
In 2023, Renew Capital officially launched operations in Rwanda, a step that strengthens our commitment to investing in growth-oriented businesses across Africa. In this blog we explore the country’s entrepreneurial landscape, thriving sectors and development strategies.
- Starting a business: Rwanda has made it easy for people to start a business by offering newly formed SMEs a two-year trading license tax exemption.
- Building permits: Rwanda's ranking in the domain of construction permits experienced a notable jump of 25 points, advancing from 106th position in 2019 to 81st globally in 2020 thanks to the accelerated process for acquiring water and sewage connections and the enhancement of building quality control through a mandatory liability insurance requirement for all construction professionals.
- Electricity supply: The upgrading of Rwanda’s power grid infrastructure has increased the dependability of the country’s electricity supply. This has resulted in an improvement in Rwanda's ranking from 68th to 59th worldwide.
- Contract enforcement: The most remarkable progress was observed in the enforcement of contracts, with Rwanda leaping from the 78th to 32nd place globally. This jump was largely attributed to the introduction of a new small claims procedure and a reduction in court fees.
- Free business registration
- Highly digitalized and efficient administration (only six hours to register a business)
- One-stop center for investors with dedicated investment acceleration and aftercare team
- No restrictions on foreign ownership
- No restrictions on capital flows
- Capital gains exemption on sale or transfer of shares
Rwanda's investment climate is one of the most attractive in Africa. The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) is playing a significant role in attracting and facilitating investment. RDB's key services include one-stop center services (business and investment registration, visa facilitation, tax incentives management, etc.), investment promotion, investment deals negotiation, tourism and conservation and private sector skills development.
Major Sectors in Rwanda
Rwanda's strategic position aids cross-border trade, particularly within East and Central Africa's estimated 268 million population. This has led to increased trade volumes. Key exports include beverages, dairy products, processed food and construction materials.
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