Top 10 Countries to do Business in Africa 2017

The “Ease of Doing Business” funded by the World Bank Group measures the costs to firms of business regulations, particularly in the field of private sector. Higher rankings (a low numerical value) indicate better, usually simpler, regulations for businesses and stronger protections of property rights. This year’s ranking shows improvement in policies and regulations in some African countries and their relation to economic growth. Many African countries are resourceful and offer amazing profits on investments. This continent is full of opportunities for businesspersons who are willing to take risks. We have compiled for you 10 African countries best for doing business and some of the sectors open for possible investment, which range from tourism to telecommunication, manufacturing, mining, tourism and information technology.

 

  1. Mauritius (ranked #49)

Since independence from Britain in 1968, Mauritius has developed from a low-income, agriculture-based economy to a middle-income diversified economy, based on tourism, textiles, sugar, and financial services. The economic history of Mauritius since independence has been called “the Mauritian Miracle” and the “success of Africa”

In recent years, information and communication technology, seafood, hospitality and property development, healthcare, renewable energy, and education & training have emerged as important sectors, attracting substantial investment from both local and foreign investors. According to the 2013 “Ease of Doing Business” report, Mauritius made property transfers faster as it takes just 15 days as opposed to 210 days in the past. It has also improved access to credit information. Since 2012, the country has moved places up on the index – it is now the 49th easiest place in the world to do business and the 1st in this continent.

  1. Rwanda (ranked #56)

Travel through Kigali the capital city of Rwanda, you will see order and cleanliness, and solid infrastructure. People can hardly believe this country is recovering from the most bloody civil wars just 15 years ago. Now Rwanda has changed a lot, people think of security, hygiene, development as well as investment when they are talking about Rwanda.

As a small country with few natural resources, president Kagame’s economic development plan, with a focus on agriculture, is yielding massive rewards. Tourism is the fastest growing sectors in Rwanda. Additionally, it’s already having as much success in the startup and IT sector as any on the continent. It is home to several incubators and is already host to Carnegie Mellon’s only campus in Africa. Despite almost a decade of civil war, citizens and leaders commitment to reform has paid off with a strong economy and healthy business climate.

 

  1. Botswana (ranked #71)

Since independence, Botswana’s economy has had one of the fastest growth rates per capita in the world. Although Botswana was resource-abundant, a good institutional framework allowed the country to reinvest resource-income in order to generate stable future income.Diamond and precious metal mining are vital to the country’s economy, but the government is working to diversify their industries. Botswana according to the “Ease of Doing Business” report has made importing and exporting faster by slashing the length of time for import and export of goods by nearly a week. Reports hold that business start-up procedures; have been streamlined to 47 days since 2008. Technology upgrades in court system have sped up the resolution of commercial disputes, reducing the average court case from 987 days in 2008 to 625 days presently.

  1. South Africa (ranked #74)

As one of the 5 major emerging BRICS economies, South Africa has high GDP per capita compared to other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. It  is a middle-income emerging market with an abundant supply of natural resources; well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors; and a stock exchange that is Africa’s largest and among the top 20 in the world. Unemployment, poverty and inequalities in South Africa are among the highest in the world but with their ratings in Investor Protection, 22nd, and Property Rights, 30th.

  1. Kenya (ranked #92)

Kenya’s economy is market-based with a few state-owned infrastructure enterprises and maintains a liberalised external trade system. The country is generally perceived as Eastern and central Africa’s hub for Financial, Communication and Transportation services. Major industries include: agriculture, forestry and fishing, mining and minerals, industrial manufacturing, energy, tourism and financial services. Currently, this country is deploying huge investments in transportation, telecommunications, and energy such as a 700 million dollars wind power project by Google and grid infrastructure. Also, with high speed internet, a tech-savvy workforce, and a time zone compatible with Europe and Asia, Kenya is one of the top places in Africa to launch a startup. With strong property rights, a mature, diversified economy, and improving infrastructure, and its outstanding tourism sector, Kenya is one of the top African countries to invest in or start a business.

  1. Seychelles (ranked #93)

Another tourists’ paradise in this continent, tourism is the main industry in Seychelles, a gorgeous country composed of 115 islands. Fishing, farming, vanilla and coconut processing are also important industries. Seychelles jumped up two places in the ranking, since 2012 to 93rd on the “Ease of Doing Business” index. Over the past five years, Seychelles has eliminated the social security tax and reduced labour and corporate income taxes. The three cuts resulted in the effective tax rate dropping from 48.4% in 2008 to 25.7% today.

 

  1. Zambia (ranked #98)

Zambia is one of Sub-Saharan Africa’s most highly urbanised countries. About one-half of the country’s 16 million people are concentrated in a few urban zones strung along the major transportation corridors, while rural areas are under-populated. While agriculture and copper mining have traditionally been major exports in Zambia, the government is aware of Zambia’s lack of diversification and over reliance on copper trading. Consequently, it is now promoting tourism, gemstone mining, and hydro-power as well. According to the “Ease of Doing Business” 2017 report, Zambia has strengthened its insolvency process by introducing further qualification requirements for receivers and liquidators. Zambia has eliminated the minimum capital requirement for starting a business, a huge encouragement to potential entrepreneurs. It has also brought its court system into the cyber-age, allowing electronic reference of cases, laws, and records which are vital for potential investors.

  1. Lesotho (ranked #100)

Completely landlocked by South Africa, Lesotho has a heavy reliance on South Africa. The economy of Lesotho is dominated by agriculture, livestock, manufacturing, textile and mining industries. The “Ease of Doing Business” 2017 report demonstrates Lesotho has improved access to credit information by expanding the coverage of its credit bureau.

  1. Ghana (ranked #108)

One of the most stable and most free market-oriented countries on Africa’s west coast, Ghana is expected to enjoy 32.7% capital growth over the next five years. Foreign property ownership in Ghana is permitted and real estate prices are still rather reasonable, especially compared with much of the continent. Its capital, Accra, is one of the most liveable frontier market cities in the world. Ghana exports a variety of resources, including industrial minerals, timber, cocoa, petroleum, natural gas, and gold. There are enormous opportunities here for real estate, telecommunications, financial services, energy and manufacturing. While it’s made massive gains in all of these areas recently, it’s nowhere near its potential.

  1. Namibia (ranked #108)

The most important sectors in Namibia are mining, agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism. Namibia is the worlds 5th largest producer of Uranium and has an economy that is heavily dependent on the extraction and processing of natural mineral resources for export. Currently, Namibia focuses on electricity building, on average; it now takes 38 days as compared to 55 in the past for connection to the electricity grid.

 

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