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Public private dialogue to improve economic environment

> 15 October 2012

For over a decade and a half, Rwanda has been striving to es­tablish a very conducive envi­ronment for business. And the efforts pushed the country up among the best business performers as reports have shown in the recent past.
The successful reforms were carried out in a legal framework, but some misunderstanding could sometimes occur because the private sector was not probably fully involved in setting up legal framework regulating their issues.
Hence a new collaboration between the government and the private sector in designing policies and finding solu­tions together is the latest joint mech­anism to make sustainable Rwanda’s economy growth.
“Experience has shown that orga­nized partnership where the private sector can have inputs in designing policies and where private actors and public officials can discuss the regu­latory framework have succeeded in many countries,” observed Francois Kanimba, the Industry and Trade Min­ister.
Kanimba was speaking last Friday evening at the launch of the Rwanda Public Private Dialogue (RPPD). The new mechanism is a platform where both private and public sectors come together to improve the business envi­ronment.
For the Minister, the platform is likely to create an atmosphere of mu­tual trust between public and business community for the reason that entre­preneurs who understand what the government is trying to achieve are likely to support undertaken reforms.
“The platform allows you to lead the change. You know very well con­straints to your business, so we the public sector do, too. Do not wait for the government to initiate and push all the reforms, so but be the change we want to see,” the minister urged business people at the launch.
By doing so with hard work and courage, the minister noted, the frame­work ensures that Rwanda will be pri­vate sector led economy as vision 2020 envisages it.
Hannington Namara, the CEO of the Rwanda’s Private Sector Federation (PSF), explained that the mechanism will be structured so that it will have representation up to district and sec­tor levels. He mentioned that all activ­ities will be coordinated by RPPD sec­retariat that will be jointly formed by representatives from PSF and Rwanda Development Board (RDB).
Clare Akamanzi, the acting CEO of RDB, said that they will start by sensi­tizating the private and public sectors on how this is going to work.
“Our mission is to ensure that solu­tions we come to are actually demand-driven and they are thoroughly re­searched – we do not want to look at issues when they come and then ad­dress them,” she pointed out.
It was noted that the experience is not merely new because there have been some mutual collaboration be­tween the public and private sectors. Yet the system was not well structured, given that it only covered some areas of business such as tourism and ICT among others, noted Faustin Mbundu, the chairman of PSF.
He for instance said that PSF and Rwanda Revenue Authority have been holding regular dialogue through the taxing forum; ICT chamber in partner­ship with the ICT working group, RDB and development partners recently worked hard to repatriate Rwanda do­main name “.rw”
In the same way, the national moni­toring committees on the elimination of Non-Tariffs Barriers (NTBs) have worked together to eliminate those NTBs at national and regional levels, he mentioned, while PFS and districts recently signed MoUs where they try to align targets to look at the priorities together.
“This mechanism builds on les­sons learned from the success sto­ries that have been taken place in the past,” said Mbundu. “But this was not enough. We opted to restructure it bet­ter in order to have timely answers.”

Source: Focus Rwanda