The inaugural Ashish J Thakkar Global Entrepreneurship Index measures entrepreneurial environments around the world and assesses each of its 85 countries against a set of criteria that spans policy, infrastructure, education, entrepreneurial environment and finance.
Of the African nations, Namibia ranks 42nd overall, Rwanda ranks 43rd, Botswana ranks 44th and South Africa ranks 46th – all of which perform well on the ‘Policy’ pillar but have some way to go to improve on their infrastructure and education in particular.
Of the top three African countries in the Index, Namibia and Botswana are stronger on the education pillar because of comparatively higher levels of literacy and quality in education. Both countries have made education central to their development.
Top scoring African nations by pillar
Rwanda scores highly on the Policy and Finance Pillars driven by government initiatives to increase the ease of doing business. Credit is easily available and business transparency is high.
Significant challenges exist in terms of Africa’s political stability, underdeveloped infrastructure, poor education and under-diversified economies. Comparatively lower scores for infrastructure are primarily driven by a lack of electrical access and the technology that comes with reliable access to energy, such as telecommunications and internet access.
Lower scores for education are due to the overall quality of education and lower literacy rates. Boosting opportunities for a quality education is imperative for increasing the region’s quality of entrepreneurs and start-ups and providing a suitable workforce.
Zambia Leads Way In Finance
In order for entrepreneurship to grow it is vital that people have access to credit and that the market isn’t restricted by monopolistic players. The Finance Pillar also looks at the availability of credit information which facilitates purchases, lending to suppliers, as well as typical financial institution lending.
The Finance Pillar was led by the countries which are typically associated with being fnancial centres: Singapore, Hong Kong, the UK, and the USA. Various African countries also performed strongly in this category with Zambia featuring in the top ten with a score of 72. South Africa and Rwanda also perform strongly with scores of 66 and 65 respectively.
Zambia, South Africa and Rwanda, the top 3 countries in Africa on the Finance pillar, stand head and shoulders above their peers, with scores of 72, 66 and 65 respectively. Zambia scores particularly well primarily because of the availability of credit and a low total tax rate. This places Zambia in the top 10 of all countries globally on the Finance Pillar, just behind the USA.
“Through the work of Mara Group over the past 20 years, I have come to recognise the immense contribution that entrepreneurs make to economies and societies around the world – particularly in relation to job creation. In recent years, however, it has become more and more apparent that governments and the private sector are simply not doing enough to support entrepreneurs in their endeavours” explains Ashish J Thakkar, Founder, Mara Group & Mara Foundation.
“With the creation of this Index, we hope to provide some solid policy recommendations that will help guide discussions and improve entrepreneurial environments globally” he added.
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