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Dianna Games Discusses Africa’s Rankings in the World Bank’s Doing Business Index

Business in Africa“Looking at changes to the African rankings in the World Bank’s Doing Business index over the years, it is remarkable how few changes have actually been made in Africa, with regard to the 10 indicators the index tracks,” writes Dianna Games, author of Business in Africa, in a recent column for Business Day.

She writes that “this is especially noticeable in the poorest countries, which most need to improve their regulatory and operating environments.”

In my early days of trawling Africa for information many years ago, I spoke to a wise old hand — an international bureaucrat who had travelled Africa while working for the World Bank — about why it was proving to be so difficult to improve the business environment.

It took only political will, not money, I argued, to change regulations to make it much easier to do business. He laughed at my naivety and said political will was a much bigger problem than money would ever be. Any change to business regulations, or the removal of other impediments to business, usually meant someone had to give up some power, thereby reducing their relevance in the system.

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