The World Bank released its 10th annual edition of Doing Business which shows the state of, in fact, doing business in 185 economies. On its ease of doing business index it is easiest to do business in Singapore followed by Hong Kong, New Zealand, United States, Denmark, Norway, and the UK. Some African countries made doing business easier such as Zimbabwe that reduced start-up fees and sped up name search in databases, for example. Zambia also reduced their required start-up capital amount and Mozambique simplified its licensing procedures. You can search by country if you’re interested in seeing how they have improved or reduced the ease of doing business. Poland is the most improved economy in the past year. Of African countries, Burundi was the most improved.
As far as women in business, 39 countries made a legal move toward gender equality and yet 232 million women still live in economies where they cannot start their own business without their husband’s permission. Legally women have equal rights with men in only 45 countries out of 141 economies.
As you probably know the World Bank Group has a brand-new president, Jim Young Kim, as of July 2012. What you may not know is that the World Bank posts regular videos of Dr. Kim in various places around the world during his first international trip as president like this one from Pretoria, South Africa where Mr. Kim talks about the ingenuity of Mailtronics, a thriving South African business. Or, this one from Cote D’Ivoire where Dr. Kim relays three key lessons he learned from a country fighting to gain economic stability on the heels of emerging from a civil war.
For more, visit the World Bank and watch Mr. Kim’s videos.
If you keep up with MDG (Millennium Development Goals) news it would seem unfathomable that a report would emerge from Sub-Saharan African that infant and child mortality has fallen within recent years.
The Millennium Development Goal 4 says that child mortality should be reduced by 2/3 in the developing world by 2015, which comes to 4.4% per year per country. In a previous post I wrote that the World Bank and IMF reported during their spring meetings a few weeks ago that child mortality would not reach the UN’s Millennium Development Goal because only 1/3 of child deaths have been decreased thus far. That, however, does not mean progress is not being made.
According to the Africa Can…End Poverty blog from the World Bank statistics show that 20 Sub-Saharan countries have witnessed a significant decrease in child mortality for children under the age of five particularly in Senegal, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda and Ghana.
Gabriel Demombynes and Ritva Reinikka note that these mortality decreases are likely due to the wide use of insecticide-treated bed nets and improved sanitation.
This is great news for the global health community as progress is certainly being made.