The region has implemented real and tangible improvements to its business climate in the past years, including the adoption of the eRegulations system, an electronic tool developed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to help governments make rules and procedures fully transparent and facilitate business, trade and investment. Each national Delegations’ presentations of their business climate reforms during the regional Business Facilitation Workshop (Ouagadougou, April 2015 – organised by the UEMOA Commission and the BizClim Program of the European Union) confirmed these good results and encouraged UEMOA countries to propose a new set of ambitious – yet realistic – objectives for 2016. A new workshop held in Ouagadougou from October 25th to 30 2017 has confirmed the initial objectives.
Officials in charge of business climate reform in the UEMOA member States (Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo) have decided to pursue administrative simplification, in particular by providing entrepreneurs with online registration services. One of the objectives is to undertake reforms beyond traditional indicators (Doing Business, World Economic Forum, Mo Ibrahim Foundation, etc.) and improve their ranking in the Global Enterprise Registration index (www.ger.co). Online services will stimulate entrepreneurship, help formalize microentreprises, increase government revenues and reduce corruption.
New goals for 2016/2017 include:
- reduce to a bare minimum the number of steps and documents needed to start a business;
- implement the new “entreprenant” regime (for micro-entrepreneurs), already operational in Benin;
- dematerialize business creation procedures, allowing users to apply, pay and receive certificates online;
- expand simplification work to other procedures (construction permits, mining exploration licenses…), according to national priorities.
Member States have also developed communication plans, to strengthen and sustain national business climate reform activities.
Additionally, the UEMOA Commission has decided to monitor, through the Implementation Unit of the Regional Business Climate Improvement Program (PRACA), the impact of national reforms in order to encourage the exchange of good practices and positive competition among member States.
Learn more about BizClim here.
Learn more about UNCTAD eRegulations worldwide here.