The law plays a key role in business development, with reforms and regulations having the potential to allow businesses to grow and prosper. Africa Legal spoke to two Rwandan entrepreneurs to discuss the challenges on the ground.
For the laws to be effective, policymakers need to work with those in the sector to understand the inside of business and how it works, says Rwandan entrepreneur Richard Migambi. A strong legislative framework creates an environment that favours investment but the right policies need to be put in place so businesses can have access to and fully utilise initiatives such as the African Continental Free Trade Area.
“Generally, the business laws in Rwanda are clear and processes are well defined. There could be grey areas on the separation of the business laws governing established businesses from start-ups, but practices are well structured for the most part,” he added.
The need for policy makers to work with entrepreneurs stems from the fact that laws and regulations have real implications on how business functions and grows – a core part of economic development.
When business prospers, this translates to economic benefits such as increased tax revenue, yet the efficiency of policies that regulate commerce is what determines business retention and development.
Engineer and Rwandan businessman Christian Didier Izere is of the view that policy makers need to work hand in hand with entrepreneurs, but also that business owners need to comply with the laws and policies governing their industry.
He explained that business policies are essential since they impact aspects such as the nature of the business climate as well as the legal obligations of any corporate entity. “Policies make sure that all involved parties are on the same page since all of these rules and strategies are meant to create a thriving business environment,” he added.
It’s important for policy makers to get a better grasp of the actual challenges businesses deal with on a day-to-day basis. At the same time entrepreneurs need to be equipped with all the information they require to operate, said Izere, as this prevents them from being on the wrong side of the law which often leads to penalties.
The future and potential growth of businesses is highly relevant when laws governing business operations are enacted, but other factors such as consumer and employee welfare also need to be considered.
“This is extremely relevant since policy making permits for all parties to be held accountable. Policy makers can help entrepreneurs to understand their responsibilities as employers, as well as their responsibility to their employees and customers,” Izere explained.
“When enacting laws, legislators need to bear in mind that policies and procedures should be designed not only to regulate legal issues but also to ensure a thriving business sector,” he concluded.
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