With no major economic reform between June 2, 2012, to June 1, 2013, Nigeria has been ranked 147 out of 189 nations in the World Bank’s Doing Business report released Tuesday.
The new World Bank Group report revealed that the Sub-Saharan Africa continues to record a large number of reforms aimed at easing the regulatory burden on local entrepreneurs, with 66 reforms adopted in the past year. Rwanda, Côte d’Ivoire, and Burundi were among the 10 economies globally improving business regulation the most.
The top African countries in the list are Mauritius at 20 position, Rwanda 32, South Africa 41, Tunisia 51, Botswana 56, Ghana 67, Zambia 83, Morocco 87, Namibia 98 and Cape Verde 121.
This year‘s rankings on the ease of doing business are the average of the economy‘s percentile rankings on the 10 topics, which included starting a business, dealing with, construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, paying taxes, trading across borders, getting credit, enforcing contracts, protecting investors, and resolving insolvency.
Singapore tops the global ranking on the ease of doing business. Joining it on the list of the top 10 economies with the most business-friendly regulatory environments are Hong Kong SAR, China; New Zealand; the United States; Denmark; Malaysia; the Republic of Korea; Georgia; Norway; and the United Kingdom.
The report tagged: “Doing Business 2014: Understanding Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises”, found that of the 20 economies improving business regulation the most since 2009, nine were in Sub-Saharan Africa: Burundi, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, Rwanda, Togo, Benin, Guinea, Liberia, and Côte d’Ivoire.
The report’s data showed that of the 47 economies in the Sub-Saharan Africa, 31 implemented at least one business regulatory reform in 2012/13.
Rwanda implemented the most in the region, with reforms in eight of the 10 areas tracked by Doing Business.
Three African economies made the biggest progress globally in an area measured by the report: Burundi in the ease of registering property, Republic of Benin in the ease of trading across borders, and Côte d’Ivoire in the ease of enforcing contracts.
“It is encouraging to see so many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa engaged in reforms aimed at reducing burdensome regulations and building up stronger legal institutions. In 2012/13, more than twice as many economies in the region reformed as in 2005,” said Augusto Lopez-Claros, the Director, Global Indicators and Analysis, World Bank Group.
“Despite these achievements, more can be done to improve the quality of the rules underpinning the activities of the private sector, to ensure continued convergence toward the better practices seen elsewhere in the world.”
For the first time, Doing Business this year measured business regulations in South Sudan, which gained independence in 2011. Despite the challenges of creating laws and regulations from scratch, South Sudan has already passed a company law, tax law, and insolvency law.
In addition to the global rankings, every year Doing Business reports the economies that have improved the most on the indicators since the previous year.
The 10 economies topping that list this year are (in order of improvement) Ukraine, Rwanda, the Russian Federation, the Philippines, Kosovo, Djibouti, Côte d’Ivoire, Burundi, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Guatemala.
Yet challenges persist: five of this year’s top improvers – Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, the Philippines, and Ukraine – are still in the bottom half of the global ranking on the ease of doing business.
The highlights of Doing Business 2014 concerning Sub-Saharan Africa showed that;
• Thirty-one of 47 economies in Sub-Saharan Africa implemented at least one regulatory reform making it easier to do business from June 2, 2012, to June 1, 2013—66 reforms in total.
• Since 2005, all economies in the region have implemented business regulatory reforms in the areas measured by Doing Business. Rwanda implemented the most number of reforms in the region with 34 reforms during this period, followed by Mauritius with 23 and Burundi with 21.
• Rwanda has made the greatest progress globally since 2005 in narrowing the gap with global good practices. Burkina Faso and Burundi are also among the top 10 most improved. Mali, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, and Côte d'Ivoire are among the top 20. The top 50 include 18 African economies.
• Rwanda, Côte d’Ivoire, and Burundi are among the global top 10 improvers this year – the economies making the biggest improvement in business regulation over the past year.
Rwanda implemented regulatory reforms in eight of 10 areas measured by Doing Business. Côte d’Ivoire implemented four reforms making it easier to do business (and one making it more difficult), and Burundi implemented six.
• Mauritius has the region’s highest ranking on the ease of doing business, at 20 out of 189 economies. Rwanda has the region’s second highest ranking, having overtaken South Africa.
• Data were collected for the first time this year for South Sudan. The country has a ranking of 186 on the ease of doing business.