Botswana improves in World Bank report  

The recently released annual global survey on the ease of doing business by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and World Bank shows that has Botswana moved nine places from 65th last year to 56th this year. A total of 189 economies were surveyed.

Botswana, according to the report which was published last week, is among the economies that made the greatest improvement for ease of doing business. The country was ranked fourth in Africa behind Mauritius, Rwanda and South Africa.

The report was entitled; “Doing Business 2014: Understanding Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises”. It assesses regulations affecting domestic firms in 189 economies and ranks the economies in 10 areas of business regulation. The rankings are based on various parameters such as starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.

“Our country’s overall progress in the index was despite a sharp drop in ‘getting electricity’, a key indicator in the survey,” said government spokesperson, Dr Jeff Ramsay.

Botswana has experienced power outages in the recent past which have threatened the already fragile economy. In efforts to address this, Government injected millions into the power industry to fund emergency supplies and pushed for the completion of the power stations at Morupule.

According to the Doing Business 2014 report, Botswana also scored relatively low in the indicator for ‘trading across border’, an indicator which Dr Ramsay said  underscores “the nation’s challenges of making SACU (Southern African Customs Union) a more efficient and equitable trade area as well as domestic bottlenecks.”

The country fairs well in dealing with construction permits, the indicator which the country made the biggest improvement. Botswana showed relative strength in categories such as registering property, protecting investors and resolving insolvency.