Promoting Private Sector Investment in Rwanda: Acase study of Rwanda Private Sector Federation
The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of Rwanda Private Sector Federation in the promotion of investments. To achieve that objective, questionnaires, interview guides and focus group discussions were used as research instruments. A total of 70 respondents were involved in this study comprising of PSF staff and sectoral associations members, government officials and other private sector operators who are not enlisted with PSF The results show that Private Sector Federation has played a crucial role in the promotion of investments in Rwanda as judged by respondents--participating in local business exhibitions and trade fairs (70 percent), in local investment seminars and missions (14 percent). However, PSF contributed less by participating in regional and international investment seminars and missions (5 percent), and in Regional and International business exhibitions and trade fairs (2 percent). The private sector also played an outstanding role in Public Private Partnerships (PPP) with the government in some priority projects of the country. The results also showed that PSF achieved success in policy advocacy by influencing the government for the removal of non service based fees, in the review of business laws, labour code and national social security policy. Among the challenges raised by Private Sector operators with regards to investment promotion in Rwanda are shortage of skilled labor (20 percent), limited access to finance (16 percent), tax barriers (20 percent) and low business management skills (11 percent), while robust governance and absence of corruption (30 percent), access to markets (25 percent) untapped opportunities in agriculture, energy and tourism (14 percent).and sustained high economic growth (16 percent) are the main opportunities available to them. The investigation showed that there is a great need for closer relationships between PSF and the government in every endeavor aimed at promoting investments in Rwanda, as well as in addressing challenges encountered by private companies. Towards that end, a new model for a successful investment promotion framework in Rwanda has been proposed.