Steady progress for Lesotho

Steady progress for Lesotho

MASERU – LESOTHO is making steady progress in making it easier for businessmen to set base in the country, according to the latest Ease of Doing Business report released by the World Bank.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Trade, Liahelo Nkaota, said it now takes less than seven working days to register a business in Lesotho.
The global average is 20 days.

“If you have all your papers for registration in order, it takes less than a week to register,” Nkaota said.
Lesotho introduced online registration of businesses and the popular One-Stop Centre, which has brought all registering offices together.
This makes Lesotho one of the best performers ever since the World Bank spearheaded the campaign to make it easier to register a business for the past 15 years.

In a Doing Business Report released on Tuesday, the World Bank said this “has been a major focus for the (sub-Saharan Africa) region in the 15 years since Doing Business was first published, with 163 reforms recorded in this area”.
Doing Business is the World Bank annual report which monitors the ease of doing business for small and medium enterprises around the world.
The report says in 2003, it took 61 days on average to start a business in the region.
Today, it takes 24 days, which compares with the global average of 20 days.

The report shows that sub-Saharan Africa economies adopted a record number of business reforms for a second consecutive year.
A total of 83 business reforms were carried out in the past year, surpassing the previous year’s record of 81 reforms.
This brings to a total of 798 the number of reforms carried out in the past 15 years in the 48 economies of the region monitored by Doing Business 2018: Reforming to Create Jobs, which was released on Tuesday.

“The region is well represented in this year’s global top 10 improvers, based on reforms undertaken, with Malawi, Nigeria and Zambia.
Malawi, which implemented four reforms, made significant improvements in the area of Getting Credit by adopting a new law that sets clear rules related to bankruptcy procedures and by establishing a new credit bureau.

Nigeria also improved access to credit by guaranteeing borrowers the right to inspect their credit data from the credit bureau and also made starting a business faster by allowing electronic stamping of registration documents.
Reforms in Zambia also included the strengthening of access to credit by adopting a new Movable Property Act and by setting up a new collateral registry.

Much of the reform activity in the past year focused on the areas of Trading Across Borders and Starting a Business, with 15 reforms each, followed by Dealing with Construction Permits, where 14 reforms accounted for 64 percent of the 22 reforms recorded in this area globally.
Zambia implemented a global automated system for customs data (ASYCUDA), making it easier for businesses to trade across borders, while Angola and Mozambique made trading across borders easier by improving port infrastructure.

Several economies, including Benin, Cape Verde, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria and the Seychelles increased the transparency of dealing with construction permits by publishing regulations related to construction online.
The sub-Saharan Africa region continues to struggle in the area of Getting Electricity.

On average, obtaining an electricity connection takes 115 days in the region, compared to the global average of 92 days.
“The reform effort in Sub-Saharan Africa is singularly worth celebrating, as the region is beset with myriad crises, including conflict and violence,” Rita Ramalho, Acting Director of the World Bank’s Global Indicators Group, said.
“We hope to continue recording the region’s successes in enabling entrepreneurship to address the challenge of job-creation, particularly for the region’s millions of young women and men,” Ramalho said.

Staff Reporter

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