Washington D.C., October 20, 2011—A
new report from IFC and the World Bank finds that a record number of economies
in Sub-Saharan Africa improved business regulations for local entrepreneurs
in the past year.
Released today, Doing Business 2012:
Doing Business in a More Transparent World assesses regulations affecting
domestic firms in 183 economies and ranks the economies in 10 areas of
business regulation, such as starting a business, resolving insolvency,
and trading across borders. This year, the rankings on ease of doing business
have expanded to include indicators on getting electricity.
The pace of regulatory improvements
has picked up across Sub-Saharan Africa. Six years ago, a third of Sub-Saharan
African economies made improvements to the regulatory climate for domestic
firms. Between June 2010 and May 2011, 36 of 46 governments in the region
implemented reforms in at least one of the 10 areas measured by the report.
“Entrepreneurship is constrained when
regulation is too complex or onerous,” said Augusto Lopez-Claros, Director,
Global Indicators and Analysis, World Bank Group. “With their impressive
improvements this year, the governments of Sub-Saharan Africa are improving
prospects for local businesses.”
For the fourth year in a row, Mauritius
was the easiest place in Sub-Saharan Africa for an entrepreneur to do business,
with a global rank of 23. By implementing reforms in areas such as paying
taxes, getting credit, starting a business, dealing with construction permits,
registering property, and resolving insolvency, São Tomé and Príncipe,
Cape Verde, Sierra Leone and Burundi are among the region’s most-improved
economies for entrepreneurs.
“Post-conflict economies such as Burundi,
Liberia, and Sierra Leone are among those that have implemented broad regulatory
reforms,” said Sylvia Solf, lead author of the report. “They demonstrate
that despite challenges, economies can move forward to encourage entrepreneurship.”
New data show that improving access
to information on business regulations can aid entrepreneurs. In many Sub-Saharan
African economies, getting essential information often requires meeting
with an official, demonstrating that improving access to information remains
one of the region’s areas for improvement.
Over the past six years, 43 economies
in Sub-Saharan Africa have made their regulatory environment more business-friendly.
Recently, steps have also been taken to improve business regulation through
regional coordination to overhaul a body of harmonized commercial laws—a
legal reform requiring consensus from the 16 member states of the Organization
for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA).
About the Doing Business report
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 resolving
insolvency. The aggregate ease of doing business rankings are based on
10 indicators and cover 183 economies. Previous year’s rankings are back-calculated
to account for the addition of new indicator(s), data corrections, and
methodology changes in existing indicators so as to provide a meaningful
comparison with the new rankings. Doing Business does not
measure all aspects of the business environment that matter to firms and
investors. For example, it does not measure security, macroeconomic stability,
corruption, the level of skills, or the strength of financial systems.
Its findings have stimulated policy debates in more than 80 economies and
enabled a growing body of research on how firm-level regulation relates
to economic outcomes across economies.
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
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