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Making business easier in West Africa: the new challenges of WAEMU

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Make it simpler and faster in order to remove obstacles to new business start-up, favor formalization of the existing activities and boost private investments in the region. The workshop for business facilitation in the WAEMU space, organized by the WAEMU Commission in partnership with BizClim, ended its works on 24th Friday 2015 in Ouagadougou, on the definition of more new ambitious objectives but still realistic on the horizon 2016.

The member States of the WAEMU are committed to continue their efforts of administrative simplification by particularly offering on-line registration services to entrepreneurs.

One of the objectives is to undertake reforms beyond the traditional indexes (Doing Business, World Economic Forum, Mo Ibrahim Foundation, etc.) by particularly improving their ranking in the global enterprise registration index (ger.co). On-line services will allow more stimulating the new business start-up, formalizing the activities of the micro-entrepreneurs, improving the income of States and ending up with corruption.

The participants noticed that the objectives they settled in November 2012 were even largely realized, even exceeded very often. Regarding this progress, new objectives were proposed by the representatives of the eight member States, such as:
. Reduction to the legal absolute minimum the number of stages and the necessary documents to start a business;

· Generalizing the entrepreneurship sector already operational in Benin;

· Dematerialization of new business start-up procedures by offering the users the possibility of submitting their file on-line, paying on-line and receiving electronic certificates;

· Immediate extension of the simplification work to other procedures (obtaining of the building permit, the quarry exploration certificate, etc.) according to the national priorities.

The member states also developed communication plans to consolidate and perpetuate their business climate improvement actions. The WAEMU Commission besides, decided to set up through the Executing Unit of the Regional Program of Business Improvement (PRACA) of the follow-up planning of the reforms impact to increase ten times good practice exchanges and contribute to a healthy competition between States.

Original text by:Roger ADZAFO

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