Sub-Saharan African countries continue to implement reforms to improve the business climate for domestic entrepreneurs, with members of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) particularly active during the past year, the World Bank Group’s annual ease of doing business measurement disclosed in the document, “Doing Business 2016: Measuring Regulatory Quality and Efficiency, records a total of 69 reforms in 35 economies in Sub-Saharan Africa.“
The reforms implemented in Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for about 30 percent of the 231 reforms implemented worldwide during the past year. The region also boasted half of the world’s top 10 improvers, i.e. countries that implemented at least three reforms and moved up on the global rankings scale, with Uganda, Kenya, Mauritania, Benin and Senegal, the report said. The region stood out in implementing reforms under the Getting Credit indicator. Of the 32 reforms made globally, 14 were carried out in Sub-Saharan Africa, with Kenya and Uganda making significant progress, report adds.
“Despite great improvements, governments in Sub-Saharan Africa will need to continue working on closing the gap in many key areas that impact the ease of doing business, especially increasing access to reliable electricity and providing effective commercial dispute resolution – two areas where the region scores the lowest globally,” said Rita Ramalho, Manager of the Doing Business project in a statement issued in Nairobi.
On getting electricity, it takes an average of 130 days for an entrepreneur to get a new electricity connection and, once connected, customers experience frequent outages lasting almost 700 hours per year – making Sub-Saharan Africa the region with the highest duration of outages globally, said the report.
Mauritius ranks best in the region, with a global ranking of 32, performing particularly well in the areas of Paying Taxes and Enforcing Contracts. Rwanda has the next best ranking in the region, with a global ranking of 62 with the East African country implementing the highest number of reforms in the region, with six reforms carried out in the past year, said the report.
OHADA is a system of business laws and implementing institutions adopted by seventeen West and Central African nations. OHADA is the French acronym for “Organisation pour l’Harmonisation en Afrique du Droit des Affaires”, which translates into English as “Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa”. It was created on October 17, 1993 in Port Louis, Mauritius. The OHADA Treaty is made up today of 17 African states. Initially fourteen African countries signed the treaty, with two countries (Comoros and Guinea) subsequently adhering to the treaty and a third (the Democratic Republic of Congo) due to adhere shortly. The Treaty is open to all states, whether or not members of the Organization of African Unity.
The OHADA states are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, the Comoros, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.