Mauritius has claimed the highest score on ease of doing business in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and the Southern African Development community (SADC), securing 25th position out of 190 economies globally.
This is according to the World Bank’s 2018 Doing Business report published this week.
The report, the organisation’s 15th edition, provides insight into topics including tax, insolvency, power supply and international trade, all of which impact small-to-medium business development.
It provides objective measures of business regulations for local firms in 190 economies and selected cities at the sub-national level.
In SSA, Mauritius is followed by Rwanda (41), Kenya ( 80), Botswana ( 81), South Africa ( 82) and Zambia ( 85). In SADC, the island nation tops the list, with Botswana in second, South Africa third, Zambia fourth and Seychelles (95) in fifth position.
Analysts argue that technology, including access to broadband connectivity and other electronic services, has a major influence on the ease of doing business.
Koffi Kouakou, Managing Director at Stratum Futures, says, “Technology and its effective application and management is perhaps the most important if not the fundamental determinant to influence the ease of business in Africa. Its diligent and imperative application across business helps to cut through so many bureaucratic hurdles in Africa.
Steven Ambrose, CEO of Strategy Worx adds, “Technologically, South Africa and Kenya are the leading Sub-Saharan Africa countries regarding technological advancement. This leads to an overall ease in term of setting up and conducting business in a fully digital and connected world.
“The depth of digital penetration, however, does not cut through the red tape and lack of efficiency in many regards, and most countries in Africa – especially South Africa – are falling behind global best practice in this regard. What is lacking in South Africa is a cohesive and integrated platform that allows business to operate in an integrated and seamless fashion.”
“Overall South Africa and Kenya have the broadest penetration of the necessary infrastructure to allow for the development and growth of technology related businesses.”
Kouakou adds that no serious African economic growth can take shape without technology and also outlines his top countries where a favourable tech business climate is high, including; Mauritius, South Africa, Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Morocco, Tunisia, Ghana, Senegal, Cameroon (Anglophone region), Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Somalia , and Egypt.
William Hahn, principal research analyst at Gartner commented on the company’s 2017 Hype Cycle for ICT in Africa report and said, “Developments in ICT are changing how African governments and businesses operate.”
Hahn says some technologies on the report enable new ways of doing business across industries, such as bimodal IT operations and cloud office, causing a shift in industry dynamics. “These technologies will allow African businesses to engage with global partners and benefit from mature market expertise, leading to the creation of an improved, sustainable ecosystem.”
According to Gartner, communications technologies remain the most impactful technologies in Africa. “Technologies and services associated with communications, commerce and payments, and government are among the most transformational.”