The World Bank recently reeased the latest edition of its Ease of Doing Business Report and Kenya was ranked as the most improved African country and the third most improved country globally after Brunei Darussalem and Kazakhstan.
This continues a trend that hs become noticeble within the past few months. Kenya has continually gones leaps and bounds in stimulaing economic growth with the usual so-called superpowers of the continent remaining stagnant. Just a while, the Kenyan Stock Exchange actually traded an higher volume of shares than the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
What though is the difference? Why does Nigeria continue remaining stuck at the same point with the same problems while these ‘smaller’ countries gather momentum? From the issues relating to the Ease of Doing Business index, we see at least 3 reasons.
First, the long term commitment of the government to ensuring that a goal is met is admirable. Even though Kenya achieved the above-mentioned Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary, Adan Mohamed, said ‘This is a marathon and we must not be complacent until we atain position 50 by 2020’. A clear vision and the commitment to ensure the vision is achieved. In contrast, ThisDay reports that Nigeria’s presidency says that the stagnant position of 169 of 189 is ‘gratifying’. What exacty is gratifying about refusing to progress?
A second clear difference is the willingness to implement specific policies that work toward the goal set. Kenya scoed significant improvements in starting a business,obtaining access to electricity, registering property, protecting minority investors and resolving insolvency. In contrast, electricity continues a problem in Nigeria, nd only slight improvements in registering a property and access to credit. You just have the feeling tha the ‘slight improvements’ were probably because the other countries were worse off.
When countries such as Rwanda, Mauritius and Kenya are luring investors by making business easier and we are stuck among the 20 hardest countries for businesses, then a shift is impending. If drastic steps are not taken very soon, the ‘natural order’ of things will soon shake up seriously.
Countries we look upon with a sense of superiority will soon overtake us while we continue looking for excuses for not doing what we should do. We must change our mentality an be serious about achieving what clear goals that can stimulate our economy.