Nature of Bilateral Relationships with the United States:
Relations between the United States and Rwanda are cordial, with frequent exchanges of views on a range of bilateral, regional, and international issues. Rwanda's involvement in the conflict in DROC has put some strains on the basically positive bilateral relationship between the U.S. and Rwanda. U.S. AID programs in Rwanda continue to concentrate on health, food security, and democracy/good governance. Rwanda benefits from one regional program, the Education for Development and Democracy Initiative.
Major Political Issues Affecting the Business Climate:
The government of Rwanda has traditionally exerted tight control over politics and society. This is reflected in the business realm, in which small elite tends to dominate government-run companies. The private sector, however, is more diverse. The government has promised political decentralization and has sold most small parastatals.
The government of Rwanda currently owns all the land in Rwanda, with property titles being issued only when a structure is built on property.
Investors must seek authorization from local government authorities to build on vacant land. A new law providing ownership of land is expected to be enacted in 2003.
In 2000, the Transitional National Assembly drafted a new labor code to replace the outdated 1967 code. The major provisions for which labor unions are pressing include a National Labor Commission and a labor court; maternity leave with two-thirds of normal salary to be paid; establishment of health and safety committees in the workplace; and a shorter period for arbitration of labor disputes.
Government price controls have been eliminated for all but the following commodities: electricity, water, telecommunications, petroleum, beer, and soft drinks.
Synopsis of the Political System:
Rwanda's Transitional Government of National Unity was put in place after the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) assumed power in July 1994 following the...