Washington, D.C., September 9, 2009—In
a year of fast-paced reform, 67 regulatory reforms were recorded in 29
of 46 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, finds Doing Business 2010: Reforming
through Difficult Times, the seventh in a series of annual reports
published by IFC and the World Bank. And for the first time a Sub-Saharan
African country—Rwanda—was the world’s top reformer, based on the number
and impact of reforms implemented between June 2008 and May 2009.
Mauritius, ranked 17 of the 183 economies covered by the report, is the
top Sub-Saharan economy for the second year in a row in terms of the overall
regulatory ease of doing business. It adopted a new insolvency law, established
a specialized commercial division within the court, eased property transfers,
and expedited trade processes.
Rwanda, another repeat reformer, reformed in seven of the 10 business regulation
areas measured by Doing Business. It now takes a Rwandan entrepreneur
just two procedures and three days to start a business. Imports and exports
are more efficient, and transferring property takes less time thanks to
a reorganized registry and statutory time limits. Investors have more protection,
insolvency reorganization has been streamlined, and a wider range of assets
can be used as collateral to access credit.
“In times overshadowed by the global financial and economic crisis, business
regulation can make an important difference for how easy it is to reorganize
troubled firms to help them survive, to rebuild when demand rebounds, and
to get new businesses started,” said Penelope Brook, Acting Vice President
for Financial and Private Sector Development at the World Bank Group. “The
report also shows that some postconflict economies in the region are actively
improving the regulatory framework for private sector-led development.”
Liberia, the second-fastest reforming economy in the region, eased procedures
for business start-up, reduced fees for construction permits, and sped
trade with a new one-stop center. Sierra Leone introduced a company law
that strengthened investor protections, enhanced access to credit, and
provided for the reorganization of troubled firms. It also established
a one-stop center for business registration.
Burkina Faso reformed in five of the 10 areas covered by the report, including
simplifying procedures for construction permits, improving contract enforcement,
streamlining property registration, easing business start-up, and expediting
trade. Mali also reformed in five areas. Other leading reformers were Angola,
Cameroon, and Ethiopia; and South Africa lowered taxes on domestic firms.
This year, there were 4 new reformers among the global top 10: Liberia,
the United Arab Emirates, Tajikistan and Moldova. Others include Rwanda,
Egypt, Belarus, the Former Yugoslav Republic of
Macedonia, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Colombia. Colombia and Egypt have been
top global reformers in four of the past seven years.
Doing Business analyzes regulations that apply to an economy’s businesses
during their life cycles, including start-up and operations, trading across
borders, paying taxes, and closing a business. 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, skill level, or the strength of financial systems.
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), 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,
For more information about the Doing Business report series, please
For more information on Doing Business 2010, please contact:
Nadine Ghannam +1 (202) 473-3011
Rebecca Ong +1 (202) 458-0434
Contacts for region-specific queries on Doing Business 2010:
Desmond Dodd +27 (11) 731-3053
Nana Yaa Ofori-Atta +233 (244) 343-888