The private sector continues to be a critical driver of job creation and economic growth. However, several factors can undermine the private sector and, if left unaddressed, may impede development. Through rigorous face-to-face interviews with managers and owners of firms, the World Bank Group’s Enterprise Surveys benchmark the business environment based on actual experiences of firms.
This blog focuses on Ghana, where 720 firms were surveyed covering six business sectors—(i) Food, (ii) Chemicals, Plastics, & Rubber (iii) Basic Metals, Fabricated Metals, Machinery & Equipment (iv) Other Manufacturing (v) Retail (vi) Other Services.
Use of financial services for investments and working capital on the rise
According to the 2012 Ghana Enterprise Surveys (ES), 21% of firms used banks to finance investments (vs. 16% in 2007) and 25% used banks to finance working capital (vs. 21% in 2007). However, while access to financial services has improved, it is still lower compared to the average for around 135 countries with ES data. The corresponding global averages for bank finance for investments and working capital are 25% and 30%, respectively. Moreover, in Ghana, 23% of the firms surveyed had a bank loan or line of credit, compared to the global average of 34%.
When discussing openness and transparency in government, it would be easy to imagine countries like India and Ukraine have more differences than similarities. India is often described as the world’s largest democracy with a federalized government system that gives financial and legislative rights to regions, while Ukraine is a former Soviet Union state with a historically centralized power system.
Join us live online and in-person this Wednesday at 9am in DC for “The Future of Price Statistics: Innovations in Data, Technology and Methods”
This is a guest post from Shaida Badiee and Eric Swanson, co-founders of the NGO Open Data Watch, which works on a variety of initiatives at the intersection of Open Data and Official Statistics.
Although "open data" has been a popular rallying cry and many countries, states, even cities, have announced open data initiatives, open access to the important data produced by national statistical agencies remains, at best, limited.
To get a baseline measurement, Open Data Watch conducted in depth assessments of the statistics commonly produced by national statistical systems in 125 mostly low- and middle-income countries. Called the Open Data Inventory (ODIN), results are now available online at http://odin.opendatawatch.com. Global results are shown in Figure 1. In 2015 ODIN found only 10 national statistical offices (NSOs) that satisfied more than 50 percent of the criteria for data coverage and openness. Mexico, at 68 percent was the highest scoring country followed by Mongolia, Moldova, and Rwanda. Uzbekistan at 3 percent was the lowest.
An interactive table of all country scores is available here:
- Debt statistics products, coverage, and methodologies
- External debt trends of 2015
- International debt statistics-related activities and summaries
The World Bank collects annual external debt statistics through the World Bank Debt Reporting System (DRS) and publishes it annually in the International Debt Statistics (IDS) publication. This annual data is complemented by our quarterly external and public debt statistics captured through the Quarterly External Debt Statistics (QEDS) database and the Public Sector Debt (PSD) database. To help illustrate this interconnection, we've created the below graphic.
We've just launched a new, pilot global subnational population database featuring time series population estimates for 75 countries at the first-level administrative divisions (provinces, states, or regions). The database has time series data that spans 15 years (2000-2014), with total population numbers for each area and the shares relative to total national population estimates.
What's new about this?
The common data source of population estimates for most countries is a census, often conducted every 10 years or so. Many countries publish annual estimates between census years, but few publish similar population estimates for subnational regions. This database aims to provide intercensal estimates using a standard methodology.
The newly released 2016 edition of the International Debt Statistics (IDS) shows a rapid rise in sovereign bond issuance in some Sub-Saharan African countries. This includes those countries that have benefited from Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) and Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) debt relief programs.
The chart above shows that sovereign bond issuance in certain Sub-Saharan African countries has risen substantially over the past 4 years. At the end of 2011, bond issuance totaled $1 billion and by the end of 2014, it amounted to $6.2 billion. Steady global market conditions and the potential for higher returns for investors have helped pave the way for more access to international markets, where the average return for these bond issuances is about 6.6%, with an average maturity of 10 years.
For these Sub-Saharan African countries, the proceeds from these sovereign bonds are used to benchmark for future government and corporate bond markets issues, to manage the public debt portfolio, and for infrastructure financing.
Recently, I wrote a blog highlighting the latest data trends in refugees and migration data as the global crisis reached unprecedented levels. It’s now two months later and refugee flows continue to swell. In October alone, reports the UNHCR, the total number of refugees reaching Europe matched the total for the entirety of 2014.
This week two pertinent conferences will be held by the World Bank and the International Organization for Migration to address the pressing issues surrounding this crisis. First, on December 9 the World Bank and the EU Presidency of Luxembourg held the “Conference on Migration and the Global Development Agenda” at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, DC. Speakers discussed maximizing benefits and minimizing risks of migration for migrants and host, transit and origin countries. The event was open to the public and was livestreamed.