Maseru, October 23, 2012—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.
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.
Lesotho made improvements in two areas of regulation: starting a business
and protecting investors. The country implemented made it easier to start
a business by enacting an implementing the new Company Act passed in May
2012, establishing a One Stop Business Facilitation Centre, and making
provisions to protect investors. Lesotho, the most improved country in
the Southern African Region ranked 136 out of 185 economies surveyed with
2 major reforms, moving up 7 places.
Yet, despite those achievements, much more can be done to enable African
economies to build a strong and competitive private sector. 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
“Doing Business is about smart business regulations, not necessarily
fewer regulations,” said Augusto Lopez-Claros, Director, Global Indicators
and Analysis, World Bank Group. “We are 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.
About the Doing Business report series
Doing Business analyzes regulations that apply to an economy’s businesses
during their life cycle, including start-up and operations, trading across
borders, paying taxes, and protecting investors. The aggregate ease of
doing business rankings are based on 10 indicators and cover 185 economies.
Doing Business does not measure all aspects of the business environment
that matter to firms and investors. For example, it does not measure the
quality of fiscal management, other aspects of macroeconomic stability,
the level of skills in the labor force, or the resilience of financial
systems. Its findings have stimulated policy debates worldwide and enabled
a growing body of research on how firm-level regulation relates to economic
outcomes across economies. This year’s report marks the 10th
edition of the global Doing Business report series. For more information
about the Doing Business report series, please visit www.doingbusiness.org.
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About the World Bank Group
The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding
and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated
institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
(IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together
form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral
Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement
of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution plays a distinct role
in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people
in the developing world. For more information, please visit www.worldbank.org,