VENTURES AFRICA- Rwanda has launched iguide, an investment portal that will attract and update potential investors on business opportunities in the country in a bid to encourage an investment-friendly climate in the country.
iguide is an electronic directory that gives up-to-date information on company registration, land acquisition, labor laws, tax regime and other production factors alongside relevant institutions to be contacted, legal documents and officials responsible.
The website, a brainchild of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) with support from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the One UN Family in Rwanda; also include information on investment opportunities available in the country.
The launch of the iguide is expected to make it even easier for any potential investor to set up in the country as it eliminates the need to move from one website to another in search of information.
“This is another indication that Rwanda is very open to business,” Tony Nsanganira, the Acting Chief Operations Officer of RDB said during the launch in Kigali.
He explained that the portal will enable potential foreign and local investors to find all information online in one place regarding investing in Rwanda.
“The information ranges from business costs and investment opportunities to construction permits and land costs, among other useful information an investor would like to know before they come to invest,” he said.
“This online platform is user friendly, easy to access and updated on a regular basis and as well as a tool for marketing investment opportunities in Rwanda.”
He explained that the move was part of the broader programmes RDBhave in terms of promoting and attracting investments into Rwanda
“Investors should take advantage of this platform,” Nsanganira said.
RDB used to provide such information on booklets and paper document – a move Nsanganira condemned as not effective or user friendly.
Gunter Fischer, the Economic Affairs Officer at UNCTAD collaborated that, “Contrary to paper investment guides; electronic guides can easily be updated at any time to reflect changes in legislation, infrastructure, costs, taxes or any investment relevant information.”
Meanwhile, UN resident coordinator, Lamin M. Manneh has described the website as “a one-stop place for investment information about Rwanda.”
Lamin opined that with an innovation like the newly launched website, Rwanda’s ambitious transformation goal of becoming a middle income country by 2020 is achievable.
“For Rwanda’s economy to grow from 7.7 percent at the moment to 11.5 percent within a year, it requires a lot of private investment,” he said.
“In order to achieve the targets, it requires high quality investments, support and targeted innovations such as iguide.”
Lamin added that “It is because of this that Rwanda is pushing ahead of other countries in Africa in attracting investments.”
According to the World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2013, Rwanda is the third easiest placed to do business in Sub-Saharan Africa, after Mauritius and South Africa. The East African nation as ranked the 52nd best country to do business in the world out of the 185 countries surveyed by the World Bank.