Doing Business 2020: Taking Stock of SSA Performance

A worker assembles a car at a Nissan's manufacturing plant in Rosslyn, outside Pretoria, file. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Earlier, the World Bank released its Doing Business 2020 report, ranking 190 countries across the world on the ease of doing business. Notably, the ranking, which was benchmarked to May 1, 2019, showed that only two Sub-Saharan African (SSA) economies (Mauritius and Rwanda at 13th and 38th position respectively) rank in the top 50 position while 12 of the bottom 20 economies were from the region.

Also, average ease of doing business score for SSA economies increased by just 1.0% y/y, whereas economies in the Middle East and North Africa region improved their average score by 1.9% y/y. Notably, Togo and Nigeria were the bright spot in the region as both markets ranked alongside 8 other nonAfrican countries as top-10 economies that improved the most on the ease of doing business after implementing regulatory reforms.

Yet, compared to other parts of the world, SSA still underperforms in several areas. In getting electricity, for example, businesses must pay more than 3,100% percent of income per capita to connect to the grid (Middle East and North Africa – 400%; Europe and Central Asia – 272%). In our opinion, trade impediments like easy, constant, and cheap access to electricity remains one of the elephants in the room and if not fixed, may continue to drag the overall region’s performance.

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Looking Forward


Sept-19 Net Reserves – October 31st


Oct-19 Consumer Price Index – November 13th


Oct-19 Consumer Price Index – October 31st

Sept-19 Overseas Remittances – November 15th


Oct-19 Consumer Price Index – November 15th


Q3-19 Unemployment Rate – November 8th

Oct-19 Consumer Price Index – November 22nd


Oct-19 Consumer Price Index – November 14th

Q3-19 GDP Report – November 25th

South Africa

Q3-19 Unemployment Rate – October 29th

Medium-term Budget – October 30th

Sept-19 Trade Balance – October 31st

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