RDB’s John Gara (R) addressing the visiting Members of Parliament yesterday. The New Times / Timothy Kisambira.

Addressing a news conference yesterday at the RDB premises, Louise Kanyonga, the Registrar General, said that the initiative aims at promoting the creation of a private sector driven economy.

“We started last week and since then we have been registering businesses within six hours. You can register your company at seven in the morning and start to work by one in the afternoon, “she said.

Kanyonga stated that the initiative is part of the Government’s strategy to improve the business climate, making it easier for local and foreign investors to do business.

“We have increased the capacity in terms of human resource to be able to process more applications within the shortest period of time,” she explained.

“We need to ensure that the reform momentum is sustained, forward looking and responds to the needs of the private sector.”

“There is no restriction on the type of companies we register here. There is no special treatment to local investors over foreign investors. The requirements and the registration fee are the same,” Louise Kanyonga said.

RDB has registered about 11,000 companies since 2009.  Registering a business costs $25 (approximately Rwf15, 000) but if done online, it is free of charge.

Reacting to the reduction of hours needed to start a business, Pierre Nzabandora, the Director of Intervention and Programme, a business a consultancy firm, said that people who haven’t registered their businesses so far should do so.

“We are very happy that RDB has made it easier for business people to start their companies in such a short period of time,” he stated.

In a related development, delegates attending the just concluded International Conference on Private Sector Development were given a tour of RDB.

John Gara, the Chief Executive Officer of RDB explained how the facility operates, especially in terms of business registration procedures.

Hon. Thabitha Khumalo, a parliamentarian from Zimbabwe, told The New Times that Rwanda is going to be used as a point of reference for African countries when they implement their own business registration reforms.

“At least we now have a country we can refer to because African nations tend to be bureaucratic when it comes to registering businesses. I am very pleased by the way RDB handles its duties,” she said.

Hon. B.L. Mashile, South Africa advised that while RDB was making it easier for people to start business, it should also do the same when they are de-registering their companies.

“Companies that want to close should be cleared within at least one day,” he noted.

Presently it takes two months to close a business.

“Over the next few months we are going to put a lot of attention on the issue of resolving insolvency. We want to ensure that the process of starting a business and closing it are merged into one system altogether,” Kayonga said.

By Frank Kanyesigye, The New Times

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