Doing Business 2020 Report : Togo in the World Top 100 (Reportage)

Faure Gnassingbé, the head of state, during the presentation of the report.

Friday, november 22, 2019 (Savoir News) – Togo a small country of West Africa – with a population of about 7.9 million – , has achieved a feat in the ranking Doing business 2020 published Thursday, october 24, 2019 by the World Bank, housing in the Top 100 Doing Business 2020 report. First best reformer on the continent with 40 points of evolution compared to the previous ranking, Togo is ranked 97th.

Overall 115 economies around the world implemented 294 business regulatory reforms making it easier to do business. And according to the Doing Business 2020 report, the Togolese economy is among the nine economies that have improved the most : Arabie Saoudite, Jordanie, Togo, Bahreïn, Tadjikistan, Pakistan, China, India and Nigeria.

Doing Business 2020 is the 17th in a series of annual studies investigating the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. It provides quantitative indicators covering 12 areas of the business environment in 190 economies.

– What lead Togo to this results?

Two years ago we were 156th. But the country has embarked on the improvement of its business climate by creating favorable conditions, in order to attract the maximum of investors. And this is how Togo has further facilitated the creation of a business with the removal of the obligation to authenticate documents and the shortening of the registration period. With a maximum of 4 hours, a business is created.

A total of 9,895 new enterprises were created in the first eight months of the year (January to August 2019) in Togo, compared to 9,205 in 2018 in the same period (an increase of 7%), a situation showing the improvement of the business environment in recent years in the country.

Another reason, Togo has also reduced the costs and delays in obtaining building permits. This formality has been simplified by setting up an online portal for the submission of applications.

Third reform validated by Doing business and which justifies the great progress of Togo: it is the decline in the cost of connection to electricity. This decrease is due to the decrease in connection costs and the security deposit for new connections.

In the past year, Togo has also simplified the formalities for the transfer of ownership and the costs have been reduced considerably.

Alt Assistance during the presentation of the report.
Assistance during the presentation of the Worlb Bank Doing business 2020 report.

We can attract investors to our country… –

« Today, we are all proud of the steps that have been taken, we set up the business climate unit and we faced our difficulties. There was an urgent need to reform our habits, our institutions, our procedures, remove some, to make the country much more attractive, « said Faure Gnassingbé, the head of State.

« But we have to know that we are competing with the others, and we need to get ahead of the reforms we need, for next year. Next year, the pace must be accelerate so that we can focus on what we want for our country: inclusive growth, development, prosperity », he said the President, when launching the country report.

According to the head of state, all we have to do, is to create this « conducive environment » for the private sector to invest.

« We have peace and security, a sound public finance framework and a good macroeconomic framework. We can then attract investors to our country: it is possible », Faure Gnassingbé added.

Latest reform that reveals Togo in the Doing business 2020 ranking: access to credit information. It has been improved by expanding the coverage of the credit bureau and starting the data communication of utility companies.

According to Mr Sani Yaya (the Minister of Economy and Finance), these excellent results mean for businesses and the private sector, « a more favorable and attractive business climate ». « We hope that the private sector will therefore seize every opportunity to invest even more, and work with the Government to continue to improve the business climate so as to make their investments profitable and productive », he said.

journalists watched the launch of the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report via video conference

– 59 places in two years: the greatest progression in the world –

Togo has won 59 places in two years, « the greatest progress in the world », said Mrs. Sandra Johnson (Minister Delegate, in charge of business climate, and Adviser to the head of state). Beyond these performance indicators, it is the entire Togolese economy, which is impacted with an upward trend in the growth rate to 5.3% in 2019, despite an unfavorable economic environment.

« To understand the Togolese miracle of the reforms carried out in recent months, it is obviously necessary to refer to three things: the choices made by the Togolese government, the political will and the pragmatism and leadership of the highest authorities in particular, the head of state whose determination remains constant », she added.

« These results reflect the vision of the Head of State, to make Togo, a place of choice, its ambition to transform structurally and sustainably the Togolese economy to make it an emerging economy by 2030, in order to achieve sustained and inclusive growth generating massive employment and contributing to poverty reduction, in line with the strategic objectives of the National Development Program (NDP).

Mrs. Sandra Johnson, Minister in charge of the business climate

Mrs. Hawa Wagué (Resident representative of the World Bank in Togo), said Togo is a « school »: « Like Rwanda, the path that Togo has been tracing over the past two years makes the country an example and will now be a textbook case for many African countries that want to change their course », she said.

« Togo’s results illustrate the support you give, Excellency, to the ambitious agenda of the reforms implemented in Togo, the hard work of your administration and the quality of the collaboration between your services and our consultancy programs, in improving the business climate », Sergio Pimenta, Vice President of the International Finance Corporation / IFC said to Faure Gnassingbé, at the launch of the country report.

Assistance to a panel at the launch of the country report

« I’m so proud of my country. Imagine Togo in five years. I think that, with this qualitative leap, the togolese portal is open for the private sector, so that there are more jobs for the youth. This is how our young people will learn to stay in their own country, and there will be fewer migrants in the Atlantic », said Jacques, a retired accountant.

According to Mrs Elisabeth Akélé (a saleswoman at Assigame, the biggest market of Togo), the private sector is the lung of the economy. « In all countries, the state cannot guarantee everything. But it is necessary to improve the business climate, create facilities for investors to have a quality private sector, a hope for the future generation ».

Jane Wilson who is a student, says it is important to have foreign companies. That can help students in having many opportunities for a job, and this strengthens the fight against poverty.

Note that this emergence of the Togolese economy is crucial in an Africa where today, 390 million people continue to live in extreme poverty. According to a note from the World Bank, 75% of the continent’s population does not have access to the Internet and Africa must create 1.7million jobs every month, to absorb young people entering the labor market. End

Ambroisine Mêmèdé AZODODASSI