Association for Free Research and International Cooperation

10 Best African countries for doing business

the Doing Business index is a ranking index system, created by the World Bank Group, which indicates the regularity environment of businesses. A higher ranking, which is indicated by a lower numerical value, specifies a stronger protection of property rights, and visa versa.

Doing Business measures regulations of the labour market (which has not been included in this year’s ranking) and for eleven areas in the life cycle of a business.  Ten of these areas have been included in this year’s ranking on the “ease of doing business”.  They are:

  • Starting a business.
  • Obtaining a building permit.
  • Connecting to electricity.
  • Transferring ownership.
  • Getting credits.
  • Protecting minority investors.
  • Payment of taxes.
  • Cross-border trading.
  • Enforcing contracts.
  • Resolving insolvency.


The World Bank has revealed that Mauritius is positioned in 25th place worldwide, and in 1st place in Africa with a score of 77.54. The country is ranked twenty-four places higher this year, from its 49th position in the 2017 Doing Business report.


Rwanda emerged in the top 50 countries of the World Bank’s Doing Business report for the first time. Globally, Rwanda is 41st on the “ease of doing business” ranking, compared to the 56th position in last year’s report. In addition, the country has made 52 reforms over the last decade, bringing significant improvements to the environments of business and investment. Notable reforms include that of improving the building permit process, by increasing quality control during construction, with the introduction of risk-based inspections.


This report ranks Morocco in 69th position with a score of 67.91 points. Therefore, Morocco confirms its position as a leader in North Africa, ahead of: Tunisia (88th), Egypt (128th), and Algeria (166th).

The kingdom has also managed to climb to the 3rd rank among the Middle East and North African (MENA) countries – behind the United Arab Emirates (21st) and Bahrain (66th), and, for the first time, ahead of the Sultanate of Oman (71st according to the same report). On the African continent, Morocco maintained its 3rd position with a score of 67.91 out of 100.


Kenya has gained twelve places in the 2018 Doing Business report by coming in at the 80th position, compared to the 2017 report when it was ranked 92nd.

“The improvements are driven by the government and the private sector in the business environment. Last year Kenya delivered the highest number of business-related reforms on the African continent”, said Adnan Mohammed, secretary of the Industrialization Cabinet. In fact, Kenya has gained 53 positions over the last three years. The country’s position in the 2018 Doing Business report remains its best performance in the last fifteen years. To put into perspective, Kenya was ranked 113th in 2016.


While it was marked as the 71st country in the World Bank’s 2017 report, Botswana lowered its status in the 2018 report. It is now ranked at 81 and 5th in Africa.Economists explain that this drop was caused by the lack of interest to invest in the diamond industry.

South Africa

With a score of 64.89, the 2018 report ranks South Africa 82nd. This country has always been the most powerful country in Africa in terms of touristic attraction, as millions of tourists visit South Africa each year to enjoy its beauty. The government is working hard to reach the same status in attracting foreign investors by providing them with various facilities to do business in. This area is now evolving rapidly, and it offers real business opportunities to investors from all nationalities.


According to the Doing Business report of 2018, Zambia has gained 13 places – moving from the 98th position to the 85th position.  Currently, Zambia has been listed as one of the world’s top 10 economies with the most notable improvements. The report indicates that Zambia has implemented three regulatory reforms as well:  Firstly, the government empowered access to credit by launching the new Movable Property Tax Act.


Tunisia, now ranked at 88, has dropped 11 places from its spot at 77 in the 2017 report. Following behind Morocco, the cradle of the Arab Spring is the 2nd country in Doing Business in North Africa. However, once being ranked in 42nd place, the country has dropped 46 spots in just seven years.


Seychelles scored 61.41 in the 2018 Doing Business report, which placed the country in the 95th position. With a population of 94,913 inhabitants, the country came in 93rd in the 2017 report. By removing administrative barriers and offering a variety of economic incentives, the government has worked hard to create a strong environment for investment. The private sector is playing an important role in the economic dynamism that the country is experiencing.


With a score of 60.42, Lesotho is ranked in the 104th position worldwide and 10th in Africa. Government officials are making efforts to improve the foreign investment rates in the country, mainly in the tertiary and mining sectors. However, efforts are also oriented to new dynamic sectors such as news technologies and services


According to this report, it is thus clear why these 10 African countries have been ranked at the top of the “ease of doing business” category.

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