A new report by IFC and the World Bank finds that of the 50 economies making the most improvement in business regulation for domestic firms since 2005, 17 are in Sub-Saharan Africa.
This year’s report marks the 10th edition of the global Doing Business report series and over the life of the report; Africa has consistently recorded a high number of reforms.
Rwanda particularly stands out as having consistently improved since 2005 and Zambia made one reform.
A case study in this year’s report features Rwanda, which since 2005 has implemented 26 regulatory reforms as recorded by Doing Business.
The report, Doing Business 2013: Smarter Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises found that from June 2011 to June 2012, 28 of 46 governments in Sub-Saharan Africa implemented at least one regulatory reform making it easier to do business—a total of 44 reforms.
Burundi, with four reforms, ranked among the 10 economies worldwide that improved the most in the past year across three or more areas measured by Doing Business—the only low-income economy on the list.
It strengthened the insolvency process by introducing further qualification requirements for receivers and liquidators and by establishing specific duties and remuneration rules for them. Zambia ranked an overall 94 out of the 185 nations included in the survey.
The world bank says despite the achievements, much more can be done to enable African economies to build a strong and competitive private sector adding that the region’s average ranking on the ease of doing business is 140 out of 185.
Mauritius and South Africa are the only African economies among the top 40 in the global ranking.
The World Bank says it is very encouraged that so many economies in Africa are among the 50 that have made the most improvement since 2005 as captured by the Doing Business indicators.
African economies that have improved the most since then include Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Mali, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Burundi, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Angola, Mauritius, Madagascar, Mozambique, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, Niger, Nigeria, São Tomé and Príncipe.
Globally, Singapore topped the global ranking on the ease of doing business for the seventh consecutive year.Joining it on the list of the 10 economies with the most business-friendly regulation were Hong Kong SAR, China; New Zealand; the United States; Denmark; Norway; the United Kingdom; the Republic of Korea; Georgia; and Australia