The World Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business” report which assessed government regulations affecting domestic businesses in several countries, shows improvement in policies and regulations in some African countries and their relation to economic growth. Additionally, based on other material and reports some African countries have been identified as the best to do business.
1. Mauritius (ranked #49)
Mauritius’ economy is based on tourism, textiles, sugar, and financial services but has recently added many other important sectors such as information technology and renewable energy. According to the 2013 “Ease of Doing Business” report, Mauritius made property transfers faster as it takes just 15 days as opposed to 210 days in the past. It has also improved access to credit information. Since 2012, the country has moved places up on the index – it is now the 49th easiest place in the world to do business and the 1st in Africa.
2. Rwanda (ranked #56)
With tourism as the fastest growing sectors in Rwanda, and despite almost a decade of civil war, citizens and leaders commitment to reform has paid off with a strong economy and healthy business climate. According to the World Bank, Rwanda is the 56th easiest place in the world to do business and the 2nd in Africa. The process of obtaining electricity, an important source of energy has been shortened the length of time required for connection to the electricity grid is now 30 days. According to reports, entrepreneurs can be up and running in just three days and registration fees are negligible.
3. Botswana (ranked #71)
Since independence, Botswana’s economy has had one of the fastest growth rates per capita in the world. Diamond and precious metal mining are vital to the country’s economy, but the government is working to diversify their industries. Botswana according to the “Ease of Doing Business” report has made importing and exporting faster by slashing the length of time for import and export of goods by nearly a week. Reports hold that business start-up procedures; have been streamlined to 47 days since 2008. Technology upgrades in court system have sped up the resolution of commercial disputes, reducing the average court case from 987 days in 2008 to 625 days presently.
4. South Africa (ranked #74)
In South Africa, tourism, auto manufacturing, information and communication technology development, and mining are the key industries. According to the World Bank report which ranks South Africa 74th, states it has reduced the time and the number of documents required to export and import through its ongoing customs modernization program which has reduced export times from 30 days in 2008 to 16 days now and import times from 35 to 23 days. South Africa also has also simplified the tax code to reduce tax prep times from 350 hours per year to 200 hours as of 2012 as well as the effective tax rates.
5. Kenya (ranked #92)
Kenya is making huge investments in transportation, telecommunications, and energy such as a 700 million dollars wind power project by Google and grid infrastructure. Also, with high speed internet, a tech-savvy workforce, and a time zone compatible with Europe and Asia, Kenya is one of the top places in Africa to launch a startup. With strong property rights, a mature, diversified economy, and improving infrastructure, and its outstanding tourism sector, Kenya is one of the top African countries to invest in or start a business. According to “Ease of Doing Business” the reduction of time taken to comply with tax obligations from the previous 405 hours to just over 196 hours was a great relief to investors. The report states Kenya made starting a business easier by removing stamp duty fees required for the nominal capital, memorandum and articles of association and eliminating requirements to sign the compliance declaration before a commissioner of oaths.
6. Seychelles (ranked #93)
Tourism is the main industry in Seychelles, a gorgeous country composed of 115 islands. Fishing, farming, vanilla and coconut processing are also important industries. Seychelles jumped up two places in the ranking, since 2012 to 93rd on the “Ease of Doing Business” index. Over the past five years, Seychelles has eliminated the social security tax and reduced labor and corporate income taxes. The three cuts resulted in the effective tax rate dropping from 48.4% in 2008 to 25.7% today.
7. Zambia (ranked #98)
While agriculture and copper mining have traditionally been important in Zambia, the government is now promoting tourism, gemstone mining, and hydro-power as well. According to the “Ease of Doing Business” report, Zambia strengthened its insolvency process by introducing further qualification requirements for receivers and liquidators. Zambia has eliminated the minimum capital requirement for starting a business, a huge encouragement to potential entrepreneurs. It has also brought its court system into the cyber-age, allowing electronic reference of cases, laws, and records which are vital for potential investors.
8. Lesotho (ranked #100)
The economy of Lesotho is based on agriculture, livestock, manufacturing, textile and mining industries. The textile industry employs approximately about 36,000 Basotho women. Diamond mining has also grown in recent years and contributes to about 8.5% of its GDP as of 2015. Following the Ease of Business report, Lesotho improved access to credit information by expanding the coverage of its credit bureau.
9. Ghana (ranked #108)
Ghana exports a variety of resources, including industrial minerals, timber, cocoa, petroleum, natural gas, and gold. Information technology, retail, tourism, electricity generation and oil production are all important to Africa’s ninth largest economy. According to the World Bank, Ghana is the 108th easiest place in the world to do business. In Ghana, It now takes just 12 days compared to 42 in 2008 to launch a business a valuable move by the Ghanaian government to attract trigger happy entrepreneurs and investors.
9. Namibia (ranked #108)
The most important sectors in Namibia are mining, agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism. According to the World Bank, Namibia has made getting electricity easier, on average; it now takes 38 days as compared to 55 in the past. Although dropping six places in the report, its computerized system for registering a new business, is still a gold mine for potential investors not excluding the adopted new legislation that clarifies the procedures for liquidation.