The Kauffman Foundation is bullish on entrepreneurship in Africa and will push it at the African Innovation Summit at the end of the week:
Governments in the region seem to be valuing bottom-up movements for entrepreneurship in their efforts to set in motion a long-term economic growth strategy. According to the 2012 Doing Business report by the World Bank, 36 of the region’s 46 economies implemented regulatory reforms making it easier to do business between June 2010 and May 2011. Several African countries are among the top reformers, namely Cape Verde, Sierra Leone and Burundi. And these are on-going efforts. During the past six years, Rwanda (45th) has made more progress than all but one country in the world, pushing it to the third spot in the region—behind Mauritius (23rd) and South Africa (35th). By other measures, the same performers stand out, leading the way for its regional neighbors. In the Index of Economic Freedom, for instance, Mauritius is ranked among the top 10 worldwide. In the 2012 Index, Mauritius became the first sub-Saharan African country ever to advance to that height in the rankings, thanks to the island’s continued commitment to structural reforms and policies that promote integration into the global marketplace. By intent at least, people in the region are reacting positively to their government’s efforts. According to an October 2011 Gallup poll, sub-Saharan Africa has the highest percentage of adults (20%) planning to start a business in the next 12 months.
Can the African Lions follow the Asian Tigers? A partnership to promote pro-entrepreneurship public policy in Africa, Lions@frica, was launched at the World Economic Forum last month.