Forbes has ranked the Gambia, the second worst place to do business in Africa, in front of Chad.

Forbes, an American business magazine made this known in its Index of Best Countries for Business Report released on Friday. The firm surveyed a total of  153 countries.

15 different ranking factors were used, including property rights, innovation, taxes, technology, corruption, freedom (personal, trade and monetary), red tape and investor protection.

The Gambia was ranked as a 152nd best country to do business in the world out of 153 countries. This is effectively second to last in Africa and the world. Cumulatively, Mauritius was ranked number in Africa (41 in the world), while South Africa and Rwanda were ranked 48th and 79th respectively on the index for best country to do business. Senegal was 89th, Sierra Leone 131 and Liberia 139th in the world for 2018.

The report said Gambia’s GDP as of December 2017 was $1 billion while GDP growth was 2.2 percent in the period under review.  The inflation rate was put at 7.2 percent while the public debt to GDP was 116%. The report also indicated substantial deterioration of corruption.

In the country profile, the report stated that the Gambia economic progress depends on sustained bilateral and multilateral aid, on responsible government economic management, and on continued technical assistance from multilateral and bilateral donors.

“The agricultural sector has untapped potential – less than half of arable land is cultivated and agricultural productivity is low. Small-scale manufacturing activity features the processing of cashews, groundnuts, fish, and hides. The Gambia’s re-export trade accounts for almost 80% of goods exports and China has been its largest trade partner for both exports and imports for several years.,” the report read.

The report findings are not very far from the World Bank 2018 report on the ease of doing business, where the Gambia overall rank was 146 out of 190. In this report, starting a business was the worse score for the country at 171 out of 190, below the sub-Saharan Africa average.

These two reports revealed some of the challenges business owners face to start and operate a business in the Gambia. Therefore, the future policy initiatives should aim to improve on some of these scores.

Gambia Rankings (out of 153 countries. No. 1 being the best)

  • Trade Freedom – 136
  • Monetary Freedom – 145
  • Innovation – 106
  • Technology – 103
  • Red Tape – 141
  • Investor Protection – 137
  • Corruption – 131
  • Personal Freedom – 129
  • Tax Burden – 136
  • SOURCE: BUSINESS GAMBIA
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