Ghana went down by four places to 118 in the latest World Bank Ease of Doing Business ranking.

The country dropped from 114 in 2019 to 118 in 2020, for the World Bank’s flagship publication on the ease of doing business in 190 economies.  

According to the World Bank, Ghana’s decline was influenced by paying taxes that has become more complicated and more costly by converting a portion of the recoverable Value Added Tax into two new levies – the Ghana Education Trust Fund and the National Health Insurance Levy.

Ghana’s highest score was recorded in the area of “Starting a Business in Ghana” which it recorded 85 points out of 100, however it was ranked 116 out of 190 economies around the world. 

The development shows other economies might have done very well in this “pillar” and Ghana’s performance was still not enough to impact the overall rankings. 

The country’s best ranking was in the “Area of Protecting Minority Investors” which it was ranked 72, but with a score of 60”. 

In all the 12 areas assessed by the World Bank, Ghana recorded an improvement with its score, except for paying taxes, which it came down by 10.8 points and was ranked 152 out  of 190 countries with a score of 56.0. 

In the area of “Resolving Insolvency” Ghana was ranked 165 with a score of 25.4, for this pillar too, Ghana went up in its score from 2019.

What is the World Bank 2020 Ease of Doing Business?

Doing Business 2020 is a World Bank Group flagship publication, and it is the 17th in a series of annual studies measuring the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. 

Doing Business presents quantitative indicators on business regulations and the protection of property rights that can be compared across 190 economies—from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe—and over time. 

Doing Business 2020 continues to show a steady convergence between developing and developed economies, especially in the area of business incorporation. 

Should Ghana be worried by these results?

This is the third global rankings in the last three months in which the country has slipped.

First, it was the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report, which Ghana dropped by five places to 111. 

The report showed that Ghana went down from 106 in 2018 to 111 in 2019. 

In 2019, it Placed 111 out of 141 countries ranked in the report, but with a score of 51.2. 

In the recent Absa financial Market Index, Ghana also dropped six places to 13 out of 20 countries assessed in the rankings.

How did countries in Africa perform?  

According to the Report, Nigeria earned a place among the top global improvers alongside Togo.

Togo is on the list of top improvers for the second year in a row thanks to reforms lowering fees for construction permits and streamlining property registration procedures, among other measures. 

Nigeria conducted reforms impacting six indicators, including making the enforcement of contracts easier, which placed the 200-million-person economy among the world’s top improvers. 

Kenya also carried out six reforms, including improving the reliability of its electricity supply and introducing an online system for social security contributions, positioning it as the third-highest in the regional rankings, behind Mauritius and Rwanda. 

       Country                                          Ranking in 2020     Ranking in 2019          

  1. Mauritius                                                13                    20   
  2.  Rwanda                                                38                      29  
  3. Kenya                                                    56                      61
  4.  South Africa                                          84                     82
  5.  Zambia                                                  85                     87        
  6. Togo                                                  97                       137
  7. Ivory Cost                                           110                   122
  8. Ghana                                                 118                     114
  9. Nigeria                                               131                       146                
  10. Angola                                                 177                    173