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Fact Sheet -- Sub Saharan Africa

Summary of Doing Business reforms:

Angola made transferring property less costly by reducing transfer taxes. It also strengthened its credit information system, by adopting new rules for credit bureaus and guaranteeing the right of borrowers to inspect their data.
Areas of business regulation reform: Registering property, Getting credit (credit information)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 172     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 171

Benin made it easier to start a business and strengthened access to credit by implementing amendments to the OHADA (Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa) Uniform Acts. The amendments to the Uniform Act on General Commercial Law replaced the requirement for a copy of the criminal records of a company’s founders with one for a sworn declaration at the time of the company’s registration. The amendments to the Uniform Act on Secured Transactions broaden the range of assets that can be used as collateral (including future assets), extend the security interest to the proceeds of the original asset, and introduce the possibility of out-of-court enforcement.
Areas of business regulation reform: Starting a business, Getting credit (legal rights)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 175     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 173

Botswana
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 54     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 52

Burkina Faso made it easier to start a business and strengthened access to credit by implementing amendments to the OHADA (Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa) Uniform Acts. The amendments to the Uniform Act on General Commercial Law replaced the requirement for a copy of the criminal records of a company’s founders with one for a sworn declaration at the time of the company’s registration. The amendments to the Uniform Act on Secured Transactions broaden the range of assets that can be used as collateral (including future assets), extend the security interest to the proceeds of the original asset, and introduce the possibility of out-of-court enforcement. Burkina Faso made dealing with construction permits less costly by reducing the fees to obtain a fire safety study.
Areas of business regulation reform: Starting a business, Getting credit (legal rights), Dealing with construction permits
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 150     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 151

Burundi made dealing with construction permits easier by reducing the cost to obtain a geotechnical study, made paying taxes easier for companies by reducing the payment frequency for social security contributions from monthly to quarterly, and made resolving insolvency easier by amending its commercial code to establish foreclosure procedures. In addition, Burundi strengthened investor protections by introducing new requirements for the approval of transactions between interested parties, by requiring greater corporate disclosure to the board of directors and in the annual report, and by making it easier to sue directors in cases of prejudicial transactions between interested parties.
Areas of business regulation reform: Dealing with construction permits, Paying taxes, Resolving insolvency, Protecting investors
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 169     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 177

Cameroon made it easier to start a business and strengthened access to credit by implementing amendments to the OHADA (Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa) Uniform Acts. The amendments to the Uniform Act on General Commercial Law replaced the requirement for a copy of the criminal records of a company’s founders with one for a sworn declaration at the time of the company’s registration. The amendments to the Uniform Act on Secured Transactions broaden the range of assets that can be used as collateral (including future assets), extend the security interest to the proceeds of the original asset, and introduce the possibility of out-of-court enforcement.
Areas of business regulation reform: Starting a business, Getting credit (legal rights)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 161     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 165

Cape Verde made registering property faster by implementing time limits for the notaries and the land registry. It improved its credit information system by introducing a new online platform and by starting to provide five years of historical data. And it made resolving insolvency easier by introducing qualification requirements for insolvency administrators and a shorter time frame for liquidation proceedings.
Areas of business regulation reform: Registering property, Getting credit (credit information), Resolving insolvency
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 119     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 129

The Central African Republic made it easier to start a business and strengthened access to credit by implementing amendments to the OHADA (Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa) Uniform Acts. The amendments to the Uniform Act on General Commercial Law replaced the requirement for a copy of the criminal records of a company’s founders with one for a sworn declaration at the time of the company’s registration. The amendments to the Uniform Act on Secured Transactions broaden the range of assets that can be used as collateral (including future assets), extend the security interest to the proceeds of the original asset, and introduce the possibility of out-of-court enforcement. The Central African Republic further eased the process of starting a business by reducing business registration fees. And it made registering property easier by cutting the cost in half.
Areas of business regulation reform: Starting a business, Getting credit (legal rights), Registering property
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 182     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 183

Chad made it easier to start a business and strengthened access to credit by implementing amendments to the OHADA (Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa) Uniform Acts. The amendments to the Uniform Act on General Commercial Law replaced the requirement for a copy of the criminal records of a company’s founders with one for a sworn declaration at the time of the company’s registration. The amendments to the Uniform Act on Secured Transactions broaden the range of assets that can be used as collateral (including future assets), extend the security interest to the proceeds of the original asset, and introduce the possibility of out-of-court enforcement. Chad further eased the process of starting a business by eliminating the requirement for a medical certificate.
Areas of business regulation reform: Starting a business, Getting credit (legal rights)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 183     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 182

The Comoros strengthened access to credit by implementing amendments to the OHADA (Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa) Uniform Act on Secured Transactions that broaden the range of assets that can be used as collateral (including future assets), extend the security interest to the proceeds of the original asset, and introduce the possibility of out-of-court enforcement.
Areas of business regulation reform: Getting credit (legal rights)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 157     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 156

The Democratic Republic of Congo reduced the administrative costs of obtaining a construction permit, made paying taxes easier for firms by replacing the sales tax with a value added tax, and made business start-up faster by reducing the time required to complete company registration and obtain a national identification number.
Areas of business regulation reform: Starting a business, Dealing with construction permits, Paying taxes,
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 178     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 176

The Republic of Congo strengthened access to credit by implementing amendments to the OHADA (Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa) Uniform Act on Secured Transactions that broaden the range of assets that can be used as collateral (including future assets), extend the security interest to the proceeds of the original asset, and introduce the possibility of out-of-court enforcement. The Republic of Congo made registering property more expensive, however, by reversing a previous law that had reduced the registration fee.
Areas of business regulation reform: Getting credit (legal rights), Registering property (making it more difficult)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 181     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 180

Côte d’Ivoire made it easier to start a business by reorganizing the court clerk’s office where entrepreneurs file their company documents. In addition, it eliminated a tax on firms—the contribution for national reconstruction (contribution pour la reconstruction nationale). Côte d’Ivoire also strengthened access to credit, by implementing amendments to the OHADA (Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa) Uniform Act on Secured Transactions that broaden the range of assets that can be used as collateral (including future assets), extend the security interest to the proceeds of the original asset, and introduce the possibility of out-of-court enforcement.
Areas of business regulation reform: Starting a business, Paying taxes, Getting credit (legal rights)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 167     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 170

Equatorial Guinea strengthened access to credit by implementing amendments to the OHADA (Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa) Uniform Act on Secured Transactions that broaden the range of assets that can be used as collateral (including future assets), extend the security interest to the proceeds of the original asset, and introduce the possibility of out-of-court enforcement.
Areas of business regulation reform: Getting credit (legal rights)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 155     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 161

Eritrea
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 180     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 178

In Ethiopia delays in providing new connections made getting electricity more difficult.
Areas of business regulation reform: Getting electricity (making it more difficult)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 111     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 104

Gabon strengthened access to credit by implementing amendments to the OHADA (Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa) Uniform Act on Secured Transactions that broaden the range of assets that can be used as collateral (including future assets), extend the security interest to the proceeds of the original asset, and introduce the possibility of out-of-court enforcement.
Areas of business regulation reform: Getting credit (legal rights)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 156     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 160

The Gambia made getting electricity faster by allowing customers to choose private contractors to carry out the external connection works. In addition, it reduced the minimum turnover tax and corporate income tax rates. And it made trading across borders faster by implementing the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA).
Areas of business regulation reform: Getting electricity, Paying taxes, Trading across borders
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 149     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 145

Ghana increased the cost to start a business by 70 percent.
Areas of business regulation reform: Starting a business (making it more difficult)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 63     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 60

Guinea strengthened access to credit by implementing amendments to the OHADA (Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa) Uniform Act on Secured Transactions that broaden the range of assets that can be used as collateral (including future assets), extend the security interest to the proceeds of the original asset, and introduce the possibility of out-of-court enforcement.
Areas of business regulation reform: Getting credit (legal rights)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 179     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 179

Guinea-Bissau made it easier to start a business and strengthened access to credit by implementing amendments to the OHADA (Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa) Uniform Acts. The amendments to the Uniform Act on General Commercial Law replaced the requirement for a copy of the criminal records of a company’s founders with one for a sworn declaration at the time of the company’s registration. The amendments to the Uniform Act on Secured Transactions broaden the range of assets that can be used as collateral (including future assets), extend the security interest to the proceeds of the original asset, and introduce the possibility of out-of-court enforcement.
Areas of business regulation reform: Starting a business, Getting credit (legal rights)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 176     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 181

Kenya introduced a case management system that will help increase the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of commercial dispute resolution.
Areas of business regulation reform: Enforcing contracts
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 109     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 106

Lesotho made enforcing contracts easier by launching a specialized commercial court.
Areas of business regulation reform: Enforcing contracts
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 143     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 142

Liberia made starting a business easier by introducing a one-stop shop. It strengthened its legal framework for secured transactions by adopting a new commercial code that broadens the range of assets that can be used as collateral (including future assets) and extends the security interest to the proceeds of the original asset. And Liberia made trading across borders faster by implementing online submission of customs forms and enhancing risk-based inspections.
Areas of business regulation reform: Starting a business, Getting credit (legal rights), Trading across borders
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 151     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 155

Madagascar made starting a business easier by eliminating the paid-in minimum capital requirement—but also made it more difficult by introducing a new requirement for tax registration before company incorporation. Madagascar improved its credit information system by eliminating the minimum threshold for loans included in the database and making it mandatory for banks to share credit information with the credit bureau.
Areas of business regulation reform: Starting a business, Getting credit (credit information)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 137     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 144

Malawi improved its credit information system by passing a new law allowing the creation of a private credit bureau. And it made resolving insolvency easier by adopting new rules providing clear procedural requirements and time frames for winding up a company. But property registration became slower because the previous year’s improvement in the time for processing compliance certificates at the Ministry of Lands was not sustained.
Areas of business regulation reform: Getting credit (credit information), Resolving insolvency, Registering property (making it more difficult)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 145     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 141

Mali made starting a business easier by adding to the services provided by the one-stop shop. In addition, it strengthened access to credit by implementing amendments to the OHADA (Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa) Uniform Act on Secured Transactions that broaden the range of assets that can be used as collateral (including future assets), extend the security interest to the proceeds of the original asset, and introduce the possibility of out-of-court enforcement.
Areas of business regulation reform: Starting a business, Getting credit (legal rights)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 146     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 148

Mauritania made dealing with construction permits easier by opening a one-stop shop.
Areas of business regulation reform: Dealing with construction permits
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 159     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 162

Mauritius
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 23     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 21

Mozambique made getting electricity more difficult by requiring authorization of a connection project by the Ministry of Energy and by adding an inspection of the completed external works.
Areas of business regulation reform: Getting electricity (making it more difficult)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 139     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 132

Namibia adopted a new company law that established clear procedures for liquidation. But it made transferring property more expensive for companies.
Areas of business regulation reform: Resolving insolvency, Registering property (making it more difficult)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 78     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 74

Niger strengthened access to credit by implementing amendments to the OHADA (Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa) Uniform Act on Secured Transactions that broaden the range of assets that can be used as collateral (including future assets), extend the security interest to the proceeds of the original asset, and introduce the possibility of out-of-court enforcement.
Areas of business regulation reform: Getting credit (legal rights)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 173     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 172

Nigeria
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 133     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 133

Rwanda made starting a business easier by reducing the business registration fees. And it eased firms’ administrative burden of paying taxes by reducing the frequency of value added tax filings from monthly to quarterly. Rwanda’s credit information system improved, as its private credit bureau started to collect and distribute information from utility companies and also started to distribute more than 2 years of historical information. Rwanda made transferring property more expensive, however, by enforcing the checking of the capital gains tax.
Areas of business regulation reform: Starting a business, Paying taxes, Getting credit (credit information), Registering property (making it more difficult)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 45     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 50

São Tomé and Príncipe made starting a business easier by establishing a one-stop shop, eliminating the requirement for an operating license for general commercial companies, and simplifying publication requirements. It made dealing with construction permits easier by reducing the time required to process building permit applications, and it made registering property less costly by lowering property transfer taxes. In addition, São Tomé and Príncipe made trading across borders faster by adopting legislative, administrative, and technological improvements.
Areas of business regulation reform: Starting a business, Dealing with construction permits, Registering property, Trading across borders
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 163     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 174

Senegal made it easier to start a business and strengthened access to credit by implementing amendments to the OHADA (Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa) Uniform Acts. The amendments to the Uniform Act on General Commercial Law replaced the requirement for a copy of the criminal records of a company’s founders with one for a sworn declaration at the time of the company’s registration. The amendments to the Uniform Act on Secured Transactions broaden the range of assets that can be used as collateral (including future assets), extend the security interest to the proceeds of the original asset, and introduce the possibility of out-of-court enforcement. In addition, Senegal made trading across borders less costly by opening the market for transport, which increased competition. And it made enforcing contracts easier by launching specialized commercial chambers in the court.
Areas of business regulation reform: Starting a business, Getting credit (legal rights), Trading across borders, Enforcing contracts
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 154     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 157

The Seychelles made paying taxes less costly for firms by eliminating the social security tax. In addition, it made trading across borders faster by introducing electronic submission of customs documents. But an expansion of the jurisdiction of the lower court increased the time required to enforce contracts.
Areas of business regulation reform: Paying taxes, Trading across borders, Enforcing contracts (making it more difficult)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 103     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 109

Sierra Leone improved its credit information system by enacting a new law providing for the creation of a public credit registry. It made enforcing contracts easier by launching a fast-track commercial court, and it made trading across borders faster by implementing the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA). Sierra Leone made resolving insolvency easier by establishing a fast-track commercial court in an effort to expedite commercial cases, including insolvency proceedings.
Areas of business regulation reform: Getting credit (credit information), Enforcing contracts, Trading across borders, Resolving insolvency
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 141     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 150

South Africa made starting a business easier by implementing its new company law, which eliminated the requirement to reserve a company name and simplified the incorporation documents. It made transferring property less costly and more efficient by reducing the transfer duty and introducing electronic filing. And South Africa made resolving insolvency easier by introducing a new reorganization process to facilitate the rehabilitation of financially distressed companies.
Areas of business regulation reform: Starting a business, Registering property, Resolving insolvency
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 35     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 36

Sudan
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 135     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 135

Swaziland made transferring property quicker by streamlining the process at the land registry.
Areas of business regulation reform: Registering property
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 124     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 123

Tanzania made trading across borders faster by implementing the Pre-Arrival Declaration (PAD) system and electronic submission of customs declarations.
Areas of business regulation reform: Trading across borders
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 127     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 125

Togo strengthened access to credit by implementing amendments to the OHADA (Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa) Uniform Act on Secured Transactions that broaden the range of assets that can be used as collateral (including future assets), extend the security interest to the proceeds of the original asset, and introduce the possibility of out-of-court enforcement. Togo also reduced its corporate income tax rate.
Areas of business regulation reform: Getting credit (legal rights), Paying taxes
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 162     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 158

Uganda increased the efficiency of property transfers by establishing performance standards and recruiting more officials at the land office. In addition, Uganda introduced changes that slowed business start-up by adding time to the process of obtaining a business license—though it also simplified registration for a tax identification number and for value added tax by introducing an online system.
Areas of business regulation reform: Registering property, Starting a business (making it more difficult)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 123     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 119

Zambia made registering property more costly by increasing the property transfer tax rate.
Areas of business regulation reform: Registering property (making it more difficult)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 84     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 80

Zimbabwe
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 171     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 168

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For more information on Doing Business 2012, please contact:
Nadine Ghannam +1 (202) 473-3011
E-mail: nsghannam@ifc.org 

Sushmitha Narsiah +1 (202) 473-0995
E-mail: snarsiah@worldbank.org

Contacts for region-specific queries on Doing Business 2012:
Sub-Saharan Africa

Lucie Cecile Giraud   +254 717 717 910 
E-mail: LGiraud@ifc.org

Aby K. Toure   +1 (202)473-8302
E-mail: Akonate@worldbank.org