Ease of doing business: Uganda climbs seven places in World Bank ranking

Uganda has moved up seven places in the World Bank’s latest Doing Business Report, coming in at 115 out of 188 economies. The report, released on Wednesday in Washington D.C., investigates regulations that improve or constrain the operations of small to medium-size domestic businesses.

The rise in rank was due to changes in the survey’s methodology, data revisions, and various business regulatory reforms undertaken by Uganda.

The reforms implemented by Uganda are elimination of the requirement that a commissioner of oaths must sign the declaration of compliance with the Companies Act; easier tax payments that remove the requirement to submit a paper copy of returns following online submission; and the construction of the Malaba One-Stop Border Post, which reduced the time exports spend at the border.

In sub-Saharan Africa, Uganda is ranked No. 11. The top ranked country in the region is Mauritius at No. 49 followed by Rwanda at No. 56. Kenya is No. 92.

The two bottom ranked countries in the world are both from Africa; Somalia at No. 190 and Eritrea at No. 189. South Sudan is in the No. 186 position. However, Somalia was only added to the report this year.

On the distance to frontier metric, which measures improvements in business regulations by assessing the absolute level of doing business indicators, Uganda’s score rose to 57.77 versus 57.10 last year. The score means Uganda is narrowing the distance from the best performance on all indicators across all surveyed economies.

Of the ten areas measured, Uganda performed best in getting credit, coming in at No. 44, and enforcing contracts (No. 64). Its lowest rankings were getting electricity (161) and starting a business (165). It takes an average of 13 procedures and 26 days to start a business, according to the report, and costs about 37.1% of the average income earned per Ugandan.

The report added measures that look at the ease – or difficulty – of women starting businesses, registering property, and enforcing contracts. Although Uganda does not have any limitations for women on those metrics, the report found several restrictions on women in several sub-Saharan countries. It recorded 60 gender disparities in 38 African economies.

In a similar report released last month, Uganda was No. 113 out of 138 economies. The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report evaluates an economy on the most problematic factors for doing business, infrastructure, financial environment, governance, and risks, among other criteria. The report said that the problematic factors for doing business in Uganda are corruption, tax rates, inflation, access to financing, and inadequate supply of infrastructure.

Read More: Uganda business leaders most worried about corruption and tax rates – report