The top countries for entrepreneurship in Africa are Namibia, Rwanda, Botswana, South Africa and Zambia, according to the inaugural Ashish J. Thakkar Global Entrepreneurship Index, which has just been released.
The report compiled by the Mara Group, the company owned by the 30-year-old Ugandan-born tech entrepreneur, takes into account various ‘pillars’: policy, infrastructure (access to the internet and electricity), education, entrepreneurial environment and finance.
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Rwanda does well and ‘scores highly on the Policy and Finance Pillars driven by government initiatives to increase the ease of doing business.’ In fact, in the index for public sector performance, labour market flexibility and business transparency, globally the country comes 27th out of all 85 countries and that is above South Korea, Israel and Portugal.
Namibia and Botswana feature because of their high levels of literacy while South Africa and Zambia nurture startups with low tax rates and access to finance.
The Index also sheds light on the proportion of women in the workplace. Tanzania score highest out of African countries, while Egypt have the lowest proportion. South Africa has the highest proportion of youth unemployment while Rwanda have the lowest levels.
And what’s the main barrier to entrepreneurship? You guessed it: power. ’50 per cent of businesses in sub-Saharan Africa view a lack of reliable electricity access as a major constraint to doing business and power outages cost countries in sub-Saharan Africa 1-2 per cent of their GDP annually.’ The report touts solar power as a solution and singles out Morocco, Ghana, Uganda and Rwanda for operating, or building, some of the world’s largest photovoltaic power plants.
Although Namibia is top in Africa, it only comes 42 out of the 85 countries in the index. There’s a lot of work still to be done!