By Doaa Farid
Egypt is ranked fourth out of 52 African countries in the Rural Sector in terms of public resources for rural development and access to land and water for the low income rural population, according to the Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) 2013.
The IIAG, which was recently published by the MO Ibrahim Foundation, classified its data using four categories: Safety and Rule of Law, Participation and Human Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity and Human Development. African countries are ranked according to their performance in these fields.
Egypt received a high score in the subcategory Rural Sector, which lies under the Sustainable Economic Opportunity category in terms of agricultural research, extension services, input, policy costs and produce markets, dialogue between government and rural organisations and policy and the legal framework for rural organisations.
Meanwhile, Egypt ranked ninth compared to other African countries in the subcategory Business Environment; however, it has dropped by 10 points since 2011, according to the report.
The report showed that Egypt’s human development efforts in terms of health, education and welfare witnessed slight changes this year.
However, in the Political Participation subcategory, Egypt’s score increased by nearly 22 points from 2011 to 2012, “yet still remained below African average”. The report also stated that little changes happened in terms of gender rights compared to the previous year.
Personal Safety, a subcategory of Safety and Rule of Law, was subject to the largest decline, as Egypt slumped by about 30 points since 2008 to rank 45th among the 52 African countries. However, the national security rose by 2.4 points and rule of law dropped by 13.3 since 2011.
“Collectively, Egypt scored 55 out of 100, which is higher than the African average (51.6) and the North African regional average (54),” the report said.
On the international level, Egypt is ranked 128th among 189 countries with regards to the ease of doing business, according World Bank’s report “Doing Business 2014”, which compared the business environment in 189 countries.
“It takes seven procedures in eight days to start a business in Egypt. It costs 9.7% of per capita income and a minimum capital of zero,” the report said.
The report also stated that it is more costly for companies to pay taxes with an increase in corporate tax income. Regarding taxes, Egypt ranks 148 out of 189 in terms of frequency of tax payment and the percentage of profits taxed: “Companies make 29 tax payments a year in 392 hours, taxing a total amount of 42.6% of profit.”