Kenya’s much-celebrated climb up the World Bank’s report uncertain
5 months ago, 16 Jan 07:55
Kenya’s much-celebrated climb up the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ report is uncertain after a World Bank official cast doubts on the results. Paul Romer, the bank’s chief economist, told The Wall Street Journal that he would correct and recalculate national rankings of business competitiveness dating back four years. According to Mr Romer, the review is necessary since the WB has repeatedly changed the methodology of its report over several years in ways it says were unfair and misleading. Chile President Michelle Bachelet was the first leader to raise the red flag, with the report indicating that under her leadership, the business environment in the South American nation had deteriorated from position 34 to 57. Romer has since apologised. “I want to make a personal apology to Chile, and to any other country where we conveyed the wrong impression,” Romer told The Wall Street Journal. He said the WB’s annual ranking of countries by ease of doing business had been compromised by a politicised methodology that was unfair and misleading. Kenya could find itself in an unfavourable position in the report that has seen State machinery acclaim for the last four years. Kenya moved from position 129 in 2014 to 113 in 2015. In 2016, the country jumped to position 92 and improved further last year to position 80. These rankings are now in doubt. The WB’s flagship economic report has been a selling point for Government officials amid contrasting findings from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. Late last year, the agency report showed that about 400,000 micro, small and medium enterprises failed to celebrate their second anniversary in the last five years due to a bumpy business landscape.
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