Business in Africa Kofi Annan decries cumbersome business permit in Africa

At a conference held in Accra dubbed ‘Forest for future, new forests for Africa’, Kofi Annan singled out Rwanda for praise, urging other African countries to learn from Rwanda as it has a simplified process of doing business.

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Former UN General Secretary Kofi Annan play

Former UN General Secretary Kofi Annan

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Former UN General Secretary Kofi Annan has decried the cumbersome nature of getting a permit to do business in Africa.

At a conference held in Accra dubbed ‘Forest for future, new forests for Africa’, Kofi Annan singled out Rwanda for praise, urging other African countries to learn from Rwanda as it has a simplified process of doing business.

He also skewered practices that leads to corruption.

“Today there is too much bureaucracy, too much red-tape in Africa -- which also encourages corruption. Each time you need to get a permit for something, a hand comes out,” he said.

“There are simple ways of doing business and African countries can do it. Rwanda is very high up the list of countries where it is easy to do business. They transformed themselves -- and other African countries can do that and set up structures and reduce bureaucracies in the system,” he said.

Mr. Annan lauded what he says is “incredible reforms” in Ethiopia in the area of agriculture.

He said to bring about change, African leaders must have the political will and determination to clean up the system.

“We have also seen incredible reforms in Ethiopia in the area of agriculture…so there are a couple of examples of African countries that demonstrate it can be done, he said.

“It is a matter of political will and determination, and cleaning up the social environment that can enable people to do business simply, honestly and straightforward.”

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