World Bank Report: Sub-Saharan Business Reforms See Improvement

World Bank Report: Sub-Saharan Business Reforms See Improvement

Business ease in Sub-Saharan African is improving in a number of countries, according to a new Doing Business 2014 World Bank report. In the past year alone, 66 SME business-related reforms have gone into effect, according to CitiFM Online.

The highest number of countries since 2009, 20 economies showing improvements in the area of business regulation — nine of which are in sub-Saharan Africa — include Liberia, Guinea, Benin, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, Rwanda, Togo, Côte d’Ivoire, and Burundi.

According to the World Bank analysis, Burundi (property registration ease), Côte d’Ivoire (contract enforcement ease) and Benin (cross-border trading ease) have been recognized as Africa’s most improved economies in a pool of 10 global business regulation reform leaders. Djibouti is also included in this group.

“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,” Augusto Lopez-Claros, World Bank Group director of Global Indicators and Analysis said in the CitiFM article.

In addition, in 2012/13, 31 of 47 countries in the sub-Saharan region implemented at least one reform related to business regulation. Rwanda heads the progressive pack covering eight out of 10 areas of improvement.

“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,” Lopez-Claros added.

According to CitiFM, South Sudan — a two-year-old nation — is leaning toward improved business regulation reform inclusion as the country has already passed legislation dealing with insolvency, company and tax law.