Rwanda Development Board Boss Reassures Businesses in Wake of New Night-Time Regulations

The Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Clare Akamanzi says the decision by Cabinet on Tuesday, August 1 to set a closing time for night-time activities is meant to make sure Rwandans have “a good quality of life.”

The Cabinet resolved that effective September 1, all non-essential services will close at 1 a.m. on working days and at 2 a.m. during weekends (Friday and Saturday).

The decision gives a balance on the priorities that the government has, such as making Rwanda and Rwandan cities livable, Akamanzi told the national broadcaster RBA.

“But at the same time,” she said, “another priority is making sure that Rwandan businesses are profitable and that are providing convenient and efficient services.”

The cabinet said however that RDB will develop detailed guidelines that will decide which services may be exempted from the closing time.

“We do know that there’s some businesses that will need to operate beyond 1 a.m. and by their very nature there are some businesses that can be accessed beyond 1 a.m. So, the Cabinet was very cognizant of that fact.”

Akamanzi said before the regulation takes effect RDB will release guidelines and clarify which type of businesses need an exception.

These she said may be supermarkets, pharmacies, and entertainment activities like concerts, events that go beyond 1 a.m. as well as nightclubs.

Akamanzi said the businesses will have to fulfill certain requirements to get the exception.

“So, I’d like to assure businesses that we’ll work with you to make sure that any concerns that you have are addressed and we’ll work with you to make sure that we implement this decision of the Cabinet and help you to do it in a good way,” she said.

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