John W Ffooks & Co - Strategy | Investment | Law > Africa
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Rwanda - Overview

Rwanda, which is bordered by Burundi, although previously under the international spotlight for an unstable political situation, has recently been dubbed Africa's biggest success story for significant improvements in its political stability, economic growth (with average income tripling in the last decade) and international integration. GDP has grown at a dramatic rate of over 8%.

Industrialisation, foreign investment, both direct and indirect, and involvement with international markets is still relatively undeveloped but a growing focus on free market economy, as well as increasing privatisation work and recent institutional development aimed at bolstering private sector development is drawing investment in. As a result Rwanda is being lauded internationally for its economic reform, and is largely regarded as an increasingly lucrative place to do business, thanks also in part to its healthy GDP growth rate.

Rwanda’s legal market is developing, largely in line with the increased levels of investment in the region. Specialized commercial courts only began operating fairly recently, and a focused business law reform commission has been established to facilitate investment and handle the resulting business initiatives.

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Rwanda - Experience

Banking Regulation - Major International Bank

We have assisted a major international bank in determining its in-country rules for opening bank accounts and offering financial services. This involved a review of the regulatory environment, legislation and industry rules, as well as speaking to industry players in-country to determine established practice.

Disposal of Shares – Dutch Holding Company

We advised a Dutch entity on its disposal of its holding in its Rwandan subsidiary. We ensured correct execution of documents and timely registration of the transfer with the Rwandan authorities.

Regulatory Review – Product Liability

We have reviewed the rules in relation to the import and export of asbestos. Advice included a review of the international treaties concerning the product, application of the treaties to both imports and exports and penalties for breach.

Aircraft Finance Law and Practise

We have written the chapter on aviation in Rwanda for Sweet & Maxwell’s Aircraft Finance – International Law and Practice.

Power Generation – Regulatory Review

Working in partnership with a City of London law firm, we have reviewed in detail the regulatory environment for establishing an Independent Power Project (IPP) in Rwanda. We have reviewed all aspects of creating an IPP, including corporate, fiscal, employment and real estate.