The New Times (Kigali)

13 November 2012

Rwanda: Move to Ease Issuance of Construction Permits Timely

editorial

Government decision to focus on easing of construction permits is fundamental to attracting foreign exchange revenue.

Rwanda Development Board (RDB) says it will reduce the time it takes to acquire construction permits in its bid to attract investments.

The commitment comes at a time the World Bank's Doing Business Report indicates that the country slipped seven places in dealing with construction permits, from 90th to 98th.

It also comes in the wake of a severe shortage of decent housing for low and middle income earners in the country.

Most recent official figures show that Rwanda needs an estimated 25,000 housing units every year. Kigali city alone requires between 8,500 and 10,000 units while the rest of the urban centres need 15,000 units.

Yet the housing supply countrywide was estimated at 10,000 annually, as of 2008.

Government's constant investment in strategic sectors and the rising Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows means the economy is expanding and creating more middle class citizens

That's why such a decision to facilitate property developers is worthwhile. It will also facilitate RDB's target of attaining a top 30 global position in the ease of doing business.

Kigali City should now heed the call by property developers to decentralise some of its power to district authorities as this, they say, will make the process for acquiring construction permits much easier and faster for practitioner.

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