The latest Fraser Institute’s annual World Economic Freedom report has labelled Rwanda the most economically free economy in East Africa, the second freest in Africa after Mauritius and the 29th freest globally; thus showing a clear improvement from three years ago when it ranked 35th globally.
Covering 151 countries, this year’s report measures economic freedom against a set of criteria including levels of personal choice, ability to enter markets, security of privately owned property and rule of law. The report suggests that Rwanda got its ranking based on the size of its government, legal system and property rights, and freedom to trade internationally.
Rwanda’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Johnston Busingye, commenting on the report’s findings said; “We have done many things – we reformed our system, our judiciary, our prosecution, our structures, our personnel, our education system, our approaches to criminal law, and we have improved demonstrably from 2004 after putting all these institutions in place.”
“No system is perfect in this world, but these things they say about interference or partiality are not true. We consistently build capacity to deliver as a truly independent and impartial justice system,” he added.
Specifically, the report scored Rwanda 6.41 on size of government, a measure of government consumption, transfers, subsidies and investment. In the legal system and property rights segment, which is concerned with the independence of the judiciary and integrity of the legal system, Rwanda scored 3.71.
Other key areas included sound money control, which considers money growth and freedom to own foreign currency bank accounts and regulation, comprising the credit market, labour market and general business regulations. The country scored 8.82 and 8.89 in the sound money control and regulation segments respectively.
Some of the other sampled African countries include kenya holding the 77th position globally, Tanzania came in 94th and Burundi, 145th. Globally, Hong Kong emerged tops as the most economically free jurisdiction in the world.
Explaining the relevance of economic freedom, Fred McMahon, Research Chair at the Fraser Institute said; “The link between economic freedom and prosperity is undeniable. The most economically free countries offer the highest quality of life and personal freedoms while the lowest-ranked countries, are usually burdened by oppressive regimes that limit the freedom and opportunity of their citizens.”