According to the latest World Bank ease of doing business rankings, economies in Sub-Saharan Africa have continued to improve their business climates. The report ranks 190 nations based on ten metrics, which include starting a business, obtaining construction permits, electricity availability, registering property, obtaining loans, and protecting minority investors. The rankings also consider the ease of paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, and resolving insolvency.
Despite tremendous improvements, Sub-Saharan Africa continues to underperform in several categories. Countries, for example, must do more to improve electricity availability and connections. In addition, poor credit access and corruption continue to be the most challenging aspects of doing business in Africa. In this article, we list the top ten best Sub-Saharan African countries to start and run a business in 2022.
In the latest World Bank ease of doing business rankings, Mauritius has set the standard for other African countries. Most obstacles that an investor might confront have been overcome by this small island nation. Mauritius is a politically and socially stable economy that is ranked highly among the world's most peaceful nations and has one of the strongest democracies on the continent.
The Business Facilitation Act of 2017 resulted in significant reforms in the country, including the automation of public services, the evaluation of licensing procedures, and regulatory amendments. Since 2005, the time it takes to register a property has decreased by more than 12-fold, while the time it takes to incorporate a business has decreased by nearly as much.
Rwanda is now ranked second in Africa for ease of doing business and is one of just two African countries to rank in the top 50 globally. The East African country has implemented the most business reforms in Africa in recent years. Electronic mechanisms have been put in place to help the country replace its suffocating bureaucracies. Taxpayers can now use free software to create value-added tax bills. Rwanda is also ranked second in the world for the ease of registering properties, behind only New Zealand.
According to the World Bank, Kenya ranks among the top African countries for starting a business and obtaining credit. The country has partnered with IBM to develop technological solutions that would assist its many agencies in resolving a variety of commercial difficulties, including property registration. Kenya has also improved its credit availability over time, making it easier for investors to fund their businesses.
4. South Africa
In recent years, South Africa's government has made a deliberate effort to improve its standing in the ease of doing business. The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission established the online Bizportal platform to make it easier to register a company in the Southern African country. Previously, registering a company took 40 days and seven procedures, including physical visits to multiple government departments. Now, it takes four procedures and eight days. South Africa also makes it easy to pay taxes by shortening audit turnaround times.
Zambia has risen in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business rankings in recent years and is now the fifth-easiest country in Sub-Saharan Africa to do business in. In terms of logistics, the country has improved in the category of cross-border trade. Zambia also increased loan availability by enacting a new Movable Property Act and establishing a new collateral registry. The Southern African country also made it easy to pay taxes by launching an online platform for submitting and paying taxes.
Botswana is ranked sixth on our list, and according to the worldwide corruption watchdog Transparency International, it is the least corrupt country in Africa. Since its independence, the government has implemented pro-business reforms. The time it takes to start and register a firm is rather short. One of the benefits of launching a business in Botswana is the availability of electricity.
In the most recent World Bank rankings of ease of doing business, Togo is the best-performing West African country. Reforms were enacted in the country to make it easier to start a business and obtain loans. It also reduced construction permit prices and simplified the property registration process. Togo has made significant expenditures on modernizing its energy infrastructure, improving distribution network maintenance, and shortening the time it takes to connect to the grid.
Seychelles is currently ranked 8th in Africa on the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Index. The country has implemented a number of initiatives and measures to improve the business environment, including the creation of a unique corporate identity and the creation of a business e-portal that will act as a digital one-stop shop for investment information and processes.
Namibia is the 9th most business-friendly country in Sub-Saharan Africa. The amount of time it takes to start and register a business has been reduced. The country made progress in this area by developing a website and eliminating the need for repeated registrations. Construction licenses and property registration have also become easier to get in the country. Namibia, in comparison to its neighbor, South Africa, does a good job of delivering energy to its industries.
Malawi is the last one on our list. The country has tremendously improved its business environment to make doing business easier. Better finance access, cross-border trade, and coping with insolvency have all boosted the country's strength. Foreign investors are generally given national treatment, and the government has enough legal instruments to safeguard them. Despite the government of Malawi's efforts to eliminate corruption, it continues to be a major impediment to investment.