Business News of Saturday, 6 May 2017
Rwanda has been ranked as the country with the best performing institutions in Africa.
The East African country is followed by Mauritius and Botswana, which have also been named in the list of 32 African countries assessed for the performance of their institutions.
Ghana came 12th on the table in spite of a marginal improvement of its institutional performance from 2015.
The Africa Competitiveness Report 2017, released by the World Economic Forum on Thursday, noted that the general performance of institutions in Africa was low “but is slowly improving.”
It said the improvement witnessed in some countries although impressive, faced major setbacks including the inability of leaders to respond to the demands of the growing youth population.
“A combination of small improvements in Africa’s institutional quality and lower standards in advanced economies has reduced the gap between the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) average and Africa’s performance on this dimension.
“…although some countries remain very fragile, governments across Africa have started to mature and are now better equipped to coordinate economic activity than they used to be.”
Chad, Mauritania, and Burundi, took the last three spots of the ranking table. Citi FM’s Hello Kigali tour that set out to discover the systems and practices in Rwanda that have contributed to the country’s impressive economic growth, identified effectively functional institutions very different from what is witnessed in some institutions in Ghana.
The country has effectively utilized technology to improve the system of passport acquisition, setting up of businesses, national identification, tax collection, and property acquisition.
The team on the tour found that staff of state institutions were proactive and attended to customers in a fairly impressive manner.
In Ghana, most state institutions including the Ghana Post, Passport office, Lands Commission and the Birth and Death registry have been accused of poor customer service and corruption.
On the Citi Breakfast Show on Friday, May 5, 2017, text messages from the public highlighted poor delivery of service by some of the country’s institutions.
Some said their bad experiences at many of these institutions have forced them to resort to private service providers where possible.
Making the situation more complex in some of these institutions are the recurring allegations of corruption that characterize their operations.
The WEF document said, “although slowly being curbed, corruption remains very widespread and impacts several aspects of economic activity including infrastructure building, which tends to be much slower, more costly, and more inefficient than in other regions.”
“The recent positive trend should not, however, overshadow the significant problems that persist in most African countries. On protecting property rights, for example, despite some progress there is still the need to guarantee asset control to the owner—especially in agricultural land, which remains a problem for improving agricultural productivity in many countries,” it added.
Southern African countries such as Botswana, Lesotho, Mauritius, Namibia, and South Africa show high ranks for institutional quality.
The report said, “the next few years will test the capacity of African institutions to respond to growing young populations without the windfall of high commodity exports. Further institutional strengthening will be a key factor in determining whether the path leads toward more prosperity or toward social and economic collapse.”