Ghana has dropped 12 places downwards in the latest World Bank Ease of Doing Business report.
This means Ghana has dropped from 108th position it recorded last year to 120th position. The 15th edition of the study was carried out between June 2016 and June 2017.
It measured 11 critical areas such as starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.
Ghana scored 84 percent when it comes to the ease of starting business, dealing with construction 61 percent, getting electricity 56 percent and registering property 55 percent. New Zealand, Singapore and Denmark retained their first, second and third spots, respectively, followed by Republic of Korea; Hong Kong SAR, China; United States; United Kingdom; Norway; Georgia; and Sweden.
This year’s top 10 improvers, based on reforms undertaken, are Brunei Darussalam (for a second consecutive year); Thailand; Malawi; Kosovo; India; Uzbekistan; Zambia; Nigeria; Djibouti; and El Salvador. For the first time, the group of top 10 improvers includes economies of all income levels and sizes, with half being top improvers for the first time – El Salvador, India, Malawi, Nigeria, and Thailand.
Kenya led on the African continent by occupying the 80th position, followed by Botswana 81st , and South Africa 83rd respectively. The others are Zambia which was ranked 85th with Tunisia taking the 88th position and Namibia 106th. Big brother Nigeria ranked 145 on the table with immediate neigbour Togo ranking 156th.
This year’s report recorded 264 regulatory reforms making it easier to do business—with 119 economies implementing at least one reform across the different areas measured by Doing Business.
What are the ranking trends?
• Mauritius, in 25th place in the Doing Business rankings, is the highest ranked economy in Sub-Saharan Africa. Other economies in the region that perform well on the ease of doing business rankings are Rwanda (at 41), Kenya (80), Botswana (81) and South Africa (82).
• The region’s lowest ranked economies are Somalia (190), Eritrea (189), South Sudan (187), and the Central African Republic (184).
• Other large economies in the region and their rankings are Democratic Republic of Congo (182), Ethiopia (161), Nigeria (145), Tanzania (137), Sudan (170), and Uganda (122).
• Rwanda ranks among the best globally in the Doing Business areas of Registering Property (with a rank of 2) and Getting Credit (6). In registering property, Rwanda has an efficient land registry where it takes 7 days to transfer property and costs only 0.1% of the property value, the same as in New Zealand.
• Mauritius has among the least cumbersome business regulations in two Doing Business areas: Dealing with Construction Permits (with a rank of 9) and Paying Taxes (10).
• Four economies in Sub-Saharan Africa rank in the top 10 in Getting Credit (with an average rank of 115). Zambia ranks 2, just after New Zealand, and Rwanda, Malawi and Nigeria all rank 6.
• The region underperforms in the areas of Getting Electricity (with an average rank of 148), Trading Across Borders (137), and Registering Property (131). It takes an average of 115 days to obtain a permanent electricity connection to the grid in Sub-Saharan Africa, compared to the global average of 92 days.
What are the reform trends?
• A record number of 83 reforms, making it easier to do business, were implemented in 36 of 48 economies in Sub-Saharan Africa in the past year. This is the largest number of reforms ever recorded by the Doing Business report in any region, and represents 31 percent of all reforms implemented globally in in the past year.
• With Malawi, Nigeria and Zambia, Sub-Saharan Africa is the most represented region among the global top 10 improvers in the Doing Business 2018 report.
• Multiple economies in the region implemented three or more reforms in the past year, including Kenya (6 reforms), Mauritania, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Senegal (5 reforms each), Malawi, Mauritius and Niger (4 reforms each), and Angola, Benin, Cabo Verde and Zambia (3 reforms each).
• Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 14 of the 22 reforms globally in Dealing with Construction Permits. Many economies, including Benin, Cabo Verde, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Niger, Nigeria and the Seychelles made dealing with construction permits easier by publishing regulations related to construction online.
What are the highlights of the past 15 years?
Since the start of Doing Business, the region carried out a total of 798 reforms.
Rwanda has implemented the most reforms in the past 15 years, totaling 52, followed by Kenya (32) and Mauritius (31).
Starting a Business, with 163 reforms, was the leading indicator for regional reforms, followed by Getting Credit and Trading across Borders with 112 and 108 reforms respectively. The average number of days to start a business in the region has dropped to 22.5 days from 61 days in 2003.
Source: Ghana/Starrfmonline.com/103.5FM/Fred Dzakpata