Africa rising on the back of reforms
IFC’s 2013 Development Impact Report for Sub-Saharan Africa report highlighted that in 2012, the emerging continent registered almost three times the number of reforms of any other region in the world. (Image: blogs.worldbank.org)
African countries that have begun to reform their business policies have benefitted from faster GDP growth, up to three times that of non-reforming countries, noted an IFC report.
The 2013 Development Impact Report for Sub-Saharan Africa report highlighted that in 2012, the emerging continent registered almost three times the number of reforms of any other region in the world. Business environment improvements were made in the areas of business registration; investments and permits; agribusiness; trade logistics; property tax and health.
The report by the World Bank’s private sector lending arm went on to add that in the past year, growth in the region remained robust at 5.8 percent despite a weaker global economic environment.
Further, foreign direct investment (FDI) ﬂows to Sub-Saharan Africa held up in 2012 and are projected to hit record levels in the coming years, exceeding $50 billion by 2015.
Correspondingly, with growth and FDI on an uptrend, poverty has taken a beating, the report noted. Between 1996 and 2012 the share of people living on less than $1.25 a day (at purchasing power parity) in Sub-Saharan Africa declined from 58 percent to 49 percent according to the World Bank.
To get an idea of IFC’s commitment to the region, at the end of 2012, IFC Advisory Services was managing a portfolio of 126 projects with a total value of over $217 million. Of these projects 93.5 percent were in low income countries and 28.8 percent were in fragile and conﬂict affected situations.
‘We helped African governments enact 105 regulations to improve investment climate… created 27,000 jobs…generated sales revenues of $118 million…facilitated loans of $1.9 billion to small and medium enterprises…’ and this is just the tip of the iceberg for the work done by IFC Advisory Services in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Besides Advisory Services, Investment Services and Asset Management are the other services offered by IFC, delivering global expertise to clients in developing countries. In 2012, IFC’s cumulative investment in the region, vide all three service offerings, exceeded $4 billion.
Source: International Finance Corporation (IFC)