CAJ News Agency (Johannesburg)

16 March 2014

Rwanda Tops African Destination for Retail Business

Kigali — RWANDA is the leading business destination in the continent because of its focus on reforming the business climate and seeking to attract foreign investment.

This is according to a new report developed by A.T. Kearney, a global consultancy firm.

Launched on Monday, the 2014 African Retail Development Index indicates that Rwanda has a highly fragmented and increasingly more attractive market than African countries with larger economies.

“With one of Africa's fastest growing economies - annual GDP growth is more than 8 percent, Rwanda leads the ranking.

"Although small in land area and just 20 years since the Genocide, Rwanda has an efficient government, strong macroeconomic indicators that reveals opportunities for international retailers can offer basic packaged goods,” AT Kearney explained in the report.

“As retailers tiptoe into Africa, figuring out where to enter and how to begin is a daunting task. While Africa is becoming a serious investment option for retailers, questions abound hot to succeed there.

"It is with this in mind that A.T Kearney embarked on its first African Retail Development Index," Mirko Warschun, A.T. Kearney partner and the report's co-author, said.

The report also indicated that although the vast majority of Africa countries had promising markets, their major retail markets remain small and informal.

The report indicates that that by 2020, nearly half of all Africans will be living in urban cities and their spending on consumer products will grow to almost US$1 trillion.

Tanzania, Nigeria, Namibia and Gabon are the other countries also making the top five places of the inaugural index, which is acclaimed as a useful framework for retailers because it offers them attractive destinations for their business expansion.

The report assessed 48 countries in the Sub-Saharan region and used data of 2012.

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