Sub-Saharan Africa improves most in Index of Economic Freedom.

By bne IntelliNews January 16, 2012
Led by a historic breakthrough for Mauritius, the Sub-Saharan Africa countries did more to expand economic freedom in 2011 than did the countries of any other region, according to the 2012 Index of Economic Freedom, published by The Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation. Mauritius became the first of the 48 countries in the region to reach the top 10 in the annual rankings with a score of 77.0, which was the highest ever achieved by a Sub-Saharan country and placed it at 8th place, The Heritage Foundation said on its website. Underpinned by a sound and transparent legal framework that strongly upholds the rule of law, a competitive tax regime and an efficient regulatory environment have encouraged broad-based and diversified economic development in Mauritius, the Index editors wrote. The second best performing country in the region was Botswana with a score of 69.6 at 33th place, followed by Rwanda, which scored 64.9 and ranked 59th. The Index of Economic Freedom evaluates countries in four broad areas of economic freedom - rule of law, regulatory efficiency, limited government, and open markets. The world average score for economic freedom dipped by 0.2 basis points to 59.5 for 2011 and was the second-lowest score for the past 10 years. Sub-Saharan Africa region lags far behind the five other regions in overall economic freedom. Of the regions 46 countries, 13 are rated in the lowest category repressed and 23 are in the next lowest mostly unfree. Nine of the worlds bottom 20 hail from Sub-Saharan Africa. Zimbabwe ranked second-worst in the world in economic freedom, but it posted an increase of 4.2 points, making it the most improved.

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