The Doing Business Report 2015 covering reforms from June 2013 through May 2014, published on October 29th 2014 assesses regulations affecting domestic firms in 189 economies and ranks the economies in 10 areas of business regulation such as; starting a business, resolving insolvency, protecting investors, paying taxes, enforcing contract, streamlining of the issuance of construction permit, getting electricity, getting credit, registering property and trading across borders.
President Ernest Bai Koroma has promised to cut red tape in doing business and this cuts across development, which includes education, infrastructure, monetary and fiscal issues, entertainment, and innovation that require the Office of the Chief of Staff to ensure inter-ministerial coordination and ensuring that MDAs deliver on their targets before the May 31st 2015 deadline.
Before the Ebola outbreak the country had a steady increase in GDP; marketed and recognized as a top investment destination in Africa. Despite the epidemic that has slowed down government activities in every sector, the government continues to take concrete steps to simplify the processes of doing business in Sierra Leone.
President Koroma also promised in several fora that Sierra Leone will continue to be opened for business by removing trade and investment barriers; removing bureaucratic hurdles, removing complex requirements, cumbersome procedures and compliance challenges that should convince investors that we are ready for investment.
With a population of about 6 Million people, The World Bank, Doing Business project (http://www.doingbusiness.org/) Report, ranked Sierra Leone 147 in 2014 and in 2015.
Sierra Leone recorded progress in six out of ten indicators: Construction Permit (Ministry of Works, Housing and Infrastructure); Enforcing Contract (Judiciary); Registering Property (OARG); Trading Across Borders (NRA-Customs); Getting Electricity (MOE) and Resolving Insolvency (Judiciary).
However, decline was recorded on the following indicators: Getting Credit (BSL); Protecting Investors (Corporate Affairs Commission); Starting a Business (OARG) and Paying Taxes (NRA-DTD).
A high ranking on the ease of doing business index means the regulatory environment is more conducive for an investor to start and operate a business.
Sierra Leone maintained its 17th Position among the 47 economies in Sub Sahara Africa (SSA); continues to be the easiest place in the Mano River Union and ranked 4th in ECOWAS economies behind Ghana, Cape Verde and Gambia in the 2015 doing business ranking.
Ease of doing business index (1=most business-friendly regulations)
Ease of doing business ranks economies from 1 to 189, with first place being the best. A high ranking (a low numerical rank) means that the regulatory environment is conducive to business operation. The index averages the country’s percentile rankings on 10 topics covered in the World Bank’s Doing Business. The ranking on each topic is the simple average of the percentile rankings on its component indicators.