Friday, February 24, 2012

Rwanda: What Kagame needs to fix in order to dream turning Rwanda into the "African Singapore"

By Simon Ndiho
Democracy Human Rights
February 23, 2012

Below please find a non-exhaustive list of a few things that Paul Kagame needs to fix before dreaming  to turn Rwanda into the   "African Singapore":

1. Rwanda is best known for the genocide that claimed at least 500,000 lives in 1994. It has been peaceful since then, but lacks nearly all of Singapore ’s advantages.
2. Rwanda ’s president is a controversial figure.
3. His forces killed huge numbers of people.
4. The elections he holds are a sham.
5. Companies still face immense hurdles, however. Skilled labour is scarce. Only 5.7% of the domestic workforce have a tertiary qualification. An agri-businessman says that he can trust only one of his employees with complicated duties.
6. “Most domestically educated Rwandans have never learned how to think independently and critically,” says the Legatum Institute.
7. “Many Rwandan businesses do not even grasp the idea of bulk discounts, and tend to charge premia for larger orders.”
8. Rwandans admit they are not good at wheeling and dealing. The countryside is largely empty of the small businesses like battery recharging, second-hand clothes and cafés which light up villages even in Congo .
9. Taxes are another headache. Most Rwandans are too poor to pay anything, so the top 200 taxpayers shoulder 75% of the burden.
10. Value-Added Tax (VAT) is payable on invoice, not on receipt of payment, which creates terrible cashflow problems for small firms. Enforcement is strict: paying a day late can mean the bill is doubled.
11. Domestic infrastructure is shoddy. The electricity supply is meagre and expensive. Outside Kigali , naked flames often provide the only artificial light.
12. Transport is tough, too.

Thanks to the “Economist”  and Eugene Karangwa as well.

Note:

The above lines were selected from the article "Business in Rwanda: Africa’s Singapore?" as provided by the Rwandan- Canadian  Economist, Eugene Karangwa.

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