Rwanda Top Business Reformer
A majority of countries in sub-Saharan Africa – many supported by
IFC, MIGA and the World Bank -- have improved their business
environments during a tough economic year, with consistent over-achiever
Rwanda placing first among the world’s reformers, according to a World
Rwanda jumped an impressive 76 places - from 143 to 67 - on the World
Bank’s Doing Business 2010 report, becoming the first African country to
top the list as the world’s biggest business reformer.
IFC continues to support Rwanda’s efforts to make wholesale improvements
to its business environment, an ongoing process that is helping the
tiny, landlocked country attract investment, grow its economy, and
Rwanda landed at top spot among the world’s reformers following changes
to seven of the 10 business regulation areas measured by the Doing
Business Report, which is compiled by IFC.
It now takes a Rwandan entrepreneur just two procedures and three days
to start a business. Imports and exports are more efficient, and
transferring property takes less time thanks to a reorganized registry
and statutory time limits. Investors have more protection, insolvency
reorganization has been streamlined, and a wider range of assets can be
used as collateral to access credit.
"Rwanda has been consistently reforming year in and year out since
2001," said Neil Gregory, advisor for financial and private-sector
development at the World Bank.
A number of other African countries made gains on the Doing
Business report, which ranks 183 countries based on analysis of
regulations of business start-up and operations, trading across borders,
paying taxes, and closing a business.
- Liberia, the second-fastest reforming economy in sub-Saharan Africa
and one of the world’s top 10 reformers last year, eased procedures for
business start-up, reduced fees for construction permits, and sped trade
with a new one-stop center.
- Sierra Leone introduced a company law that strengthened investor
protections, enhanced access to credit, and provided for the
reorganization of troubled firms. It also established a one-stop center
for business registration.
- Burkina Faso reformed in five of the 10 areas covered by the report,
including simplifying procedures for construction permits, improving
contract enforcement, streamlining property registration, easing
business start-up, and expediting trade.
- Mali reformed in five areas. Other leading reformers were
Angola, Cameroon, and Ethiopia. South Africa lowered taxes on domestic
- Mauritius, ranked 17 of the 183 economies, was the top Sub-Saharan
economy for the second year in a row in terms of the overall regulatory
ease of doing business. It adopted a new insolvency law, established a
specialized commercial division within the court, eased property
transfers, and expedited trade processes.
In a year of fast-paced regulatory changes, 67 reforms were recorded in
29 of 46 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, many of these supported by
IFC, which works with governments and the private sector to help improve
and streamline business procedures.
An improved business environment can directly lead to increased
investment, job creation, and poverty reduction. Reforms measured by
Doing Business can also play an important role in enabling countries to
recover from the economic crisis.
According to the 2010 report, Eastern Europe and Central Asia is the
fastest-reforming region for the sixth year in a row, while Singapore
led the rankings as the world’s easiest place to do business for the
fourth straight year
“In times overshadowed by the global financial and economic crisis,
business regulation can make an important difference for how easy it is
to reorganize troubled firms to help them survive, to rebuild when
demand rebounds, and to get new businesses started,” said Penelope
Brook, Acting Vice President for Financial and Private Sector
Development at the World Bank Group. “The report also shows that some
post-conflict economies in the region are actively improving the
regulatory framework for private sector-led development.”
The complete Doing Business 2010 Report can be found
For more information contact:
Johannesburg, South Africa
Phone: +27 11 731 3120