Friday, 30 April 2010

The Commonwealth Factor and Africa

As I have said before in this blog, the Commonwealth's greatest strength is not its institutions but its networks, values and the, 'Commonwealth Factor' - the similar administrative, legal, financial and business practices that members share.

The impact of the Commonwealth Factor is best demonstrated in Sub-Saharan Africa. According to the International Financial Corporation’s (IFC) Doing Business Report 2010, 17 of the top 20 places to do business in Sub Saharan Africa are Commonwealth countries: Mauritius, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Rwanda, Zambia, Ghana, Kenya, Seychelles, Uganda, Swaziland, Nigeria, Lesotho, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and The Gambia. A high ranking on the ease of doing business index means the regulatory and business environment is conducive to the operation of business and goes a long way to explain why Commonwealth countries outperform competitors.

Africa’s Commonwealth countries have shown good progress, reforming to become better business destinations over the last few years, with Mauritius, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, and Zambia all moving up the rankings in 2010. Rwanda’s case is extraordinary, rising from 158th in 2006 to 67th in 2010.

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