In an attempt to empirically bring to light the entrepreneurship freedom levels of all the 16 regions in the country, the Africa Centre for Entrepreneurship and Youth Empowerment (ACEYE) has launched its maiden report on the country’s Regional Entrepreneurship Freedom Index.
The report, which was obtained out of survey conducted by ACEYE in partnership with IMANI Centre for Policy and Education, ILAPI among others ranked the entrepreneurship freedom levels of all the regions in the country using about 10 indicators.
Launching the report of Friday, November 19, 2021, ACEYE said some of the indicators used in the survey are fiscal freedom, trade freedom, monetary freedom, freedom corruption, investment freedom, labour freedom, property rights, regulation and financial freedom.
According to the report, Eastern Region emerged as the only region with moderate entrepreneurship freedom scoring 6.36 on a 1 to 10 scale. On the indicators’ basis, the Eastern Region scored highest in labour freedom and emerged as averagely free in terms of trade freedom.
Ashanti, North East and Upper West Regions, the report described as mostly unfree in entrepreneurial freedom as they scored 5.50, 5.25 and 5.24 respectively ranking 2nd, 3rd and 4th below Eastern Region.
The remaining 12 regions were all described as repressed as they scored below 5 on the 1 to 10 scale. This implies that the bottlenecks experienced by entrepreneurs in the region as far as the indicators used in the survey are concerned can be described as growth and development inhibitive to businesses of entrepreneurs.
It is worthy of note that Greater Accra Region, which has the national capital and the center of business in the country was ranked 10th in the report and categorized as repressed on the Regional Entrepreneurship Freedom (REF) Index
Commenting on the performance of the Greater Accra Region, Deputy CEO of ACEYE, Richmond Kwesi Ansah said “there is more repression on trade freedom and fiscal freedom. Much attention needed. Regulation, investment freedom, property right, and freedom from corruption must be targeted and dramatically improved.
He continued that, “entrepreneurs in the region enjoy some monetary and labour freedom but must be improved. This region needs improvement on all areas, especially trade, fiscal, regulation, investment property right and freedom from corruption”.
In order to address these bottlenecks which are hampering the entrepreneurial drive in the entire country, ACEYE suggested some corrective measures they believe can improve on the freedom of entrepreneurs in all regions.
These measures include standardization of licensing and regulatory requirements and constant education of entrepreneurs on them, elimination of piracy and black market, redeveloping the private sector with taxes collected by government, lowering of rate interests for these regions and provision of incentives by government to attract investors.
Speaking to the media after launch of the report, president of the center, Emmanuel Acquah said ACEYE has plans to hold stakeholder engagements, especially policy makers on the maiden and novel report on Entrepreneurship Freedom Index in the country.