The World Bank’s report Doing Business 2019 is the 16th edition in a series of annual reports investigating the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. The report presents quantitative indicators on business regulation and the protection of property rights that can be compared across 190 economies - from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe - and over time. The report is published end of October 2018.
Regulations affecting eleven areas of the life of a business are covered: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency and labour market regulation. The labour market regulation data are not included in this year’s ranking on the ease of doing business.
Data in Doing Business 2019 are current as of May 1, 2018. The indicators are used to analyse economic outcomes and identify what reforms of business regulation have worked, where and why.
The results support governments in diagnosing issues in administrative procedures and correcting them. The report measures complex regulatory processes by zeroing in on their quantifiable components, which can be contested, compared - over time and across economies - and, reformed.
Five African countries are among the top ten reformers – including the Cote d’Ivoire. Most reforms over the last 15 years took place in Africa.
Africa has substantial results to show:
• 5 of the 10 best reformers are African countries (Djibouti, Togo, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Rwanda). Côte d’Ivoire, Togo and Rwanda are also part of the G20 Compact with Africa, Côte d’Ivoire is additionally a reform partner country of the Federal German government.
• Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the most reforms since 2012.
• In 2006 it took an average of 59 days to register a business in Africa. It’s now down to just 23 days.
• Energy supply reforms in Africa were very solid in recent years – world leader in the regional comparison.
• In the field of business regulations too, Africa carried out the most reforms and was again the leader compared with other regions.
Digitisation offers major opportunities for reform:
o Côte d’Ivoire and Togo have introduced an online system for corporate income tax returns.
o Togo has digitised its cadastral system and data on almost every land-title is already recorded.
o In Rwanda exporters of agricultural produce can now digitally create their certificates of origin for exported goods.
• Joint customs station and customs clearance between Rwanda and Tanzania have reduced customs clearance time at the frontier.
• African countries improved on average by one point.
Perhaps most notably, four of the 10 top improvers—Afghanistan, Djibouti, Côte d’Ivoire and Togo—are countries suffering from fragility, conflict and violence. The World Bank Group and other organisations have worked closely with these economies to address pressing humanitarian and developmental needs, while also strengthening their legal and economic institutions.