Tracking the impact of investment climate reform in Sub-Saharan Africa
June 14, 2015 Editor 0
Africa has spent the past 18 years growing at 5 percent a year, after a similar period of decline during which per capita incomes fell by 1.3 percent annually. Much of Africa’s growth has undoubtedly been fueled by a natural-resource boom, but other factors mattered too: The end of the Cold War helped reduce the incidence of armed conflict to a third of previous levels; structural adjustment reform started to pay dividends; and global debt forgiveness cleared the burden of past debts.
This opened up new investment dynamics – for global investors and, arguably more important, for a crop of burgeoning local entrepreneurs who could respond to these opportunities, from micro-entrepreneurs to larger domestic and regional investors. It is primarily on the needs and aspirations of these business people that the World Bank Group (WBG) has been focusing our investment climate (IC) advisory reform efforts in Africa since 2006.
Over the years, we have looked at how IC reforms have translated into the kind of impact that policymakers and their constituents in the private sector and beyond try to achieve – such goals as cost savings, investment and jobs. We recently undertook such an effort, pursuing a substantial review of five Sub-Saharan African countries on both sides of the continent: Burkina Faso, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and South Sudan.
A key measure of our success for much WBG investment climate advisory work is private-sector cost savings (PSCS), which monetizes the fees and time that businesses save as a result of the IC reforms that we support.
For example, reforms that changed the procedures for registering a business – through such steps as streamlining processes and putting a number of tasks online, as well as reducing fees related to registration – puts money back into the budding entrepreneur’s pocket.
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Categories: World Bank PSD
Tags: investment climate
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