Doing Business in Africa 2009

Africa had a record year for regulatory reforms that make it easier to do business, with 28 countries completing 58 reforms, according to Doing Business 2009 (PDF) , the sixth in an annual series of reports published by IFC and the World Bank. Three of the world’s top 10 reformers of business regulations are in Africa this year: Senegal, Burkina Faso, and Botswana.

Senegal made it easier to start a business, register property, and trade across borders. Burkina Faso introduced a new labor code and reforms for registering property, dealing with construction permits, and paying taxes. Botswana cut the time to start a business, facilitated trade, and strengthened investor protections. Postconflict countries, Liberia and Sierra Leone, along with Rwanda, were among the regions’ most active reformers of business regulations.

Mauritius moved up to 24 in the global rankings on the regulatory ease of doing business and continues to provide inspiration for reform and good practices to other economies across Africa. The runner-up in these overall rankings is South Africa at 32, followed by Botswana at 38.

“With more r eforms of business regulations in Africa than in any previous year, we are seeing many countries get inspiration from their neighbors about how to reform,” said Sabine Hertveldt, a coauthor of the report . “Increasingly, countries in the region are committing to reform agendas that make it easier to do business,” she added.

Doing Business ranks economies based on 10 indicators of business regulation that track the time and cost to meet government requirements in starting and operating a business, trading across borders, paying taxes, and closing a business. The rankings do not reflect such areas as macroeconomic policy, quality of infrastructure, currency volatility, investor perceptions, or crime rates.

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