Government has made known its resolve to put Ghana ahead of Mauritius on the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ ranking within the next three years.
Speaking to The Finder on the side of the launch of the Business Regulatory Strategy to steer Ghana to that feat, Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, said Ghana could even overtake the Indian Ocean Island State well before the three years if it [Ghana] is able to implement reforms in four key areas of its economy.
The reform areas are: starting a business, access to electricity, dealing with construction permits, and trading across borders. The reforms are meant to omit all bottlenecks within these areas.
“For us to be able to be number 1 in Africa, that will take the three-year strategy that we are looking at. It may happen in the first, second or third year but the important thing to note is that, once the strategy has been launched if we are able to put the reforms in place to make sure they actually work then gradually we will be moving closer,” Mr Kyerematen assured.
“It doesn’t happen overnight,” he added.
In the latest Ease of Doing Business Report for 2016, Mauritius came first as the best place for doing business in Africa and 46 among 190 countries globally while Ghana placed ninth in Africa after Lesotho and Zambia and 108 in the world.
In that report, Ghana recorded its biggest jump in the area of trading across borders, going up by 13 places to 167 out of the 190 countries ranked.
It also went up by three places to 76 on the resolving insolvency indicator and two places to 122 when it comes to getting access to electricity for businesses.
The country, however, did not do so well, in the time taken to start a business, as it went down by seven places to 103 and dealing with contracts permit also went down by five places to 112.
In the category of facilitating easy mode for firms to pay taxes, Ghana was ranked 119 after going down by three places and for easy access to a credit, Ghana went down by two places to 44.
The Trade Minister said improving Ghana’s business environment forms part of government’s industrial transformation programme, thus government will not rest on its oars on making Ghana a business-friendly country on the African continent.
“Government has a very ambitious and comprehensive programme on industrial transformation. This is all targeted at making Ghana the most business-friendly country in the whole of Africa,” he noted.
He added that: “We are doing this because the number one development priority of government is to create jobs, and we believe that it is through industrial transformation that we can create jobs.”