African countries show most rapid improvements in business ranking

African countries have shown the most dramatic improvements in the conditions of doing business, with Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Malawi and Zambia implementing important reforms to improve the business environment, the World Bank said in its annual doing business rankings.

The Sub-Saharan Africa economies adopted a record number of business reforms for a
second consecutive year, says the 15th anniversary edition of the World Bank Group’s annual Doing Business report, which monitors the ease of doing business for small and medium enterprises around the world.

A total of 83 business reforms were carried out in the past year, surpassing the previous year’s record of 80 reforms.

The region is well represented in this year’s global top 10 improvers, based on reforms undertaken, with Malawi, Nigeria and Zambia.

Malawi, which implemented four reforms, made significant improvements in the area of Getting Credit by adopting a new law that sets clear rules related to bankruptcy procedures and by establishing a new credit bureau.

Nigeria also improved access to credit by guaranteeing borrowers the right to inspect their credit data from the credit bureau and also made starting a business faster by allowing electronic stamping of registration documents.

Reforms in Zambia also included the strengthening of access to credit by adopting a new Movable Property Act and by setting up a new collateral registry.

Much of the reform activity in the past year focused on the areas of Trading Across Borders and Starting a Business, with 15 reforms each, followed by Dealing with Construction Permits, where 14 reforms accounted for 64 percent of the 22 reforms recorded in this area globally.