There has been an ongoing drive to reform secured transactions law in Rwanda, which has made it significantly easier to access credit. Indeed, as a result of these changes, Rwanda was ranked 2nd of 189 countries on the ease of getting credit by a 2016 World Bank Doing Business survey.

Rwanda’s Law 11/2009 on Security Interests in Moveable Property permits the creation of security via a collateral agreement: Article 3. Registration at the Offices of the Registrar General is required for perfection of the security interest (Article 4), and the collateral agreement must record an adequate description of the collateral and a statement that an interest is taken in all present and after-acquired property (Article 5).

In 2013, the 2009 Law was reviewed and modified. Rwanda adopted Law 34/2013 on Security Interests in Moveable Property, thereby strengthening its secured transactions regime by permitting a wider range of debts and obligations, including intangible property such as receivables, to be secured via the use of a collateral agreement.

In terms of priorities, the 2013 Law adopts a general rule of ‘first in time’, subject to exceptions in the case of “acquisition security interests” and assignment of security: Articles 10-12. Under the 2013 law, enforcement can be achieved by taking possession of the collateral, or demanding repayment.

In 2015, Rwanda clarified the priority rules outside of bankruptcy, as well as the exceptions from the stay of enforcement actions by secured creditors during corporate reorganisations.