Africa: Rwanda Named World's Top Business Reformer

9 September 2009

Cape Town — Rwanda was named today as the world's top business reformer, measured by the changes the country has made over the past year to make doing business there easier. And Mauritius retained its top ranking as the African country in which it is easiest to do business.

The two countries are named as top performers in the annual report on the ease of doing business published by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank.

"It now takes a Rwandan entrepreneur just two procedures and three days to start a business," said a statement issued by the IFC and the World Bank.

"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's ranking was based on the number and impact of reforms introduced in the year to May 2009.

Mauritius held its position as Africa's easiest place to do business by passing a new insolvency law, setting up a specialized commercial court, easing property transfers and expediting trade processes, the statement said.

The IFC and the World Bank also named Liberia and Egypt as being among the world's top 10 reformers.

"Liberia... eased procedures for business start-up, reduced fees for construction permits, and sped trade with a new one-stop centre," the statement said. "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 centre for business registration."

Other African countries cited for their reform efforts included Burkina Faso, Angola, Cameroon, Ethiopia and South Africa.

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