World Bank has ranked Nigeria behind Ghana, South Africa and Mauritius in its 2013 doing business report released yesterday.
The report, conducted by the International Finance Corporation and the World Bank, ranked Nigeria 131 among other 184 countries in the world. Mauritius and South Africa are the only African economies among the top 40 in the global ranking.
The report said that of the 50 economies making the most improvement in business regulation for domestic firms since 2005, 17 are in Sub-Saharan Africa.
This year's report marks the 10th edition of the global Doing Business report series. Africa has consistently recorded a high number of reforms.
Rwanda particularly stands out as having consistently improved since 2005. A case study in the report features Rwanda, which since 2005 has implemented 26 regulatory reforms as recorded by Doing Business.
The report, Doing Business 2013: Smarter Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises, finds that from June 2011 to June 2012, 28 of 46 governments in Sub-Saharan Africa implemented at least one regulatory reform, making it easier to do business - a total of 44 reforms.
Burundi, with four reforms, ranks among the 10 economies worldwide that improved the most in the past year across three or more areas measured by Doing Business -- the only low-income economy on the list.
Yet despite those achievements, "much more can be done to enable African economies to build a strong and competitive private sector," the report said.
The region's average ranking on the ease of doing business is 140 out of 185.
African economies that have improved the most since then include Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Mali, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Burundi, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Angola, Mauritius, Madagascar, Mozambique, Côte d'Ivoire, Togo, Niger, Nigeria, and São Tomé and Príncipe.
Globally, Singapore tops the global ranking on the ease of doing business for the seventh consecutive year. Joining it on the list of the 10 economies with the most business-friendly regulation are Hong Kong, SAR, China, New Zealand, the United States, Denmark, Norway, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Korea, Georgia and Australia.