News

ICF business reform projects help to drive forward Senegal’s economy

February 29, 2016

ICF business reform projects help to drive forward Senegal’s economy

The economic foundations of the West African country of Senegal include industries encompassing agriculture, natural resources and commodities, while tourism and the hospitality industry are also growing in importance. Against this relatively diverse economic background, ICF, together with the Government of Senegal, has been particularly involved in projects in the areas of customs modernisation to facilitate trade across borders, tax reform and construction permits.

The customs modernisations projects have been successfully completed, while the tax and construction permits projects continue into 2016. In 2012, one of the customs modernisations projects that ICF supported, the GAINDE 2000 electronic pre-clearance system, won the UN Public Service Awards in the category of ‘Improving the Delivery of Public Services’, for its electronic Single Window for facilitating foreign trade and customs processes.

Facilitating foreign trade and customs formalities

Global practice generally outlines three main steps when clearing the import and exports of goods across borders, namely: customs pre-clearance, customs clearance and finally the release of the goods from the port or airport. In Senegal, these three stages are handled by different institutions and prior to May 2008, they were not interconnected in, leading to a lengthy and cumbersome process for clearing goods.

GAINDE 2000, a public-private partnership in Senegal, managed the pre-clearance process; the Customs Authority managed the clearance process and the Port Authority manages the release of goods. Information from GAINDE’s electronic pre-clearance system had to be manually inputted into the Customs Authority’s electronic clearance system.

Two ICF projects worked to tackle the integration and improvement of the pre-clearance and clearance customs processes, namely the ‘Paperless Single Window Customs System Project, Phase I and II’ and the ‘Modernization of Customs Authority Project’. The former project focused on the relationship between the customs pre-clearance and clearance stages. The latter project enhanced efficiencies further during the clearance stage.

Phase I of ICF support to the Paperless Single Window Customs Systems Project, refined GAINDE’s system, enabling electronic pre-clearance documents to be submitted directly into Customs’ electronic system. This resulted in the reduction of the pre-clearance process from two days to seven hours.

Phase II of ICF support modernized the Customs’ clearance stage by introducing electronic submission of customs declarations.  This helped to reduce the average declaration and clearance times for both imports and exports.

The Modernization of Customs Authority Project then focused on the customs clearance step, which had previously been very fragmented. The project streamlined, automated and digitised the Customs clearance processes, integrating the clearance system into one common electronic trade data platform. It also introduced a new regulatory and administrative framework for the customs clearance procedures.

As a final result of these two projects, cargo dwell time for imports has been reduced substantially from 17 days to 3 days. It is estimated that private sector opportunity cost savings derived from this improvement exceeded US$ 150 million over the 2008-2013 period.

Tax Administration

ICF has been working with the Government of Senegal to improve tax administration in the country. The first phase of ICF support introduced a new legal framework that streamlined regulatory and administrative tax procedures. This was to increase transparency of tax payments as well as to reduce the time and cost requirements for tax administration. The project established e-Tax and e-Payment systems, automated existing administrative processes and digitised existing tax records.

The project has showcased two major results. Firstly, the declaration and payment of taxes through the Large Taxpayer Office now takes only 15 minutes instead of two days. Secondly, the processing of corporate taxes reimbursements and VAT refunds now takes 15 days and 30 days respectively, instead of the previous 175 days.

ICF is currently implementing a second phase of support which aims to enhance the eServices system to increase the number of taxpayers who are using these electronic services. This will be done by enhancing the e-Payment system and improving operations within the tax services centre.

Construction Permits Project

Part of the construction permit process includes verification on whether the proposed structure meets the required building codes. In Senegal, obtaining a construction permit had traditionally been a long process, taking an average of 90 days. This resulted in a number of illegal and unsafe constructions.

ICF is therefore working with the Government of Senegal to reduce the time and costs of processing construction permits in the Dakar region. A successful implementation of the project will pave the way for a national roll-out, to benefit the safe and timeous construction of new buildings countrywide.

Overall, the project is intended to reduce processing time substantially, as well as costs, and to encourage the process of obtaining a construction permit for greater safety in a growing urban environment.

Conclusion

The reforms in Senegal’s customs processes, tax administration and construction permits are expected to play an important role in the continuing improvement of the country’s investment climate. These improvements will have a great impact on the various elements of Senegal’s diverse and growing economy, stimulating the growth of enterprises and the creation of jobs.

People who read this article also read:

Doing Business in Africa in 2016

Mauritius modernizes asset registration

Infrastructure facilitation in Africa: a green light for investors

01 December 2016

For the past nine years, ICF had one goal – to work with African governments and the private sector to improve the investment climate in Africa. Now, nine years later, we have successfully completed this mandate and will therefore close at the end of December 2016. Read More »
30 November 2016

When ICF was started in 2007, business faced real challenges when trying to operate in Africa. Despite the increased awareness among international business communities of the investment potential that African countries had to offer, much cynicism remained about whether things will ever really change in Africa. It was therefore fundamental to further enable business, as a means of creating wealth, employment and opportunities, ultimately resulting in better livelihoods and the increased well-being of communities across the continent. Read More »
30 November 2016

Our journey to deliver over 70 projects over the past nine years of operations has yielded a rich vein of learning experiences for ICF and our partners and we feel strongly that we have a responsibility not just to report on what we’ve delivered but also to reflect on how we have delivered it. Read More »
23 November 2016

The South African Municipal Capacity Development Project has successfully come to an end. Funded by ICF, Anglo American South Africa and the Government of South Africa, the project aimed to improve the service delivery performance of five municipalities to make them more attractive for doing business. The project was implemented by the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA). Read More »
23 November 2016

The Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) has launched its upgraded One Stop Centre for investment promotion. Funded by ICF and TIC, the upgraded Centre will boost TIC’s role of encouraging, promoting and facilitating investment in Tanzania. Read More »
31 October 2016

Since its establishment, ICF has been able to build a diverse project portfolio by working with multiple African governments and various regional organizations. In just nine years, ICF’s unique approach has attracted an unprecedented number of projects that have delivered real results for African businesses. Read More »
31 October 2016

In Burkina Faso ICF assisted in establishing an electronic single window to speed up the clearance of goods at customs. As a result, pre-clearance processing has been reduced from 15 days to three days. This trade facilitation project integrated seven government agencies, five private sector agencies, 10 commercial banks and five insurance firms. The number of documents required for imports has been reduced now to only seven compared to the former 10, and only three documents are needed for exports. Read More »
07 October 2016

The ICF-funded Seychelles Financial and Regulatory Capacity Support project has come to an end. Implemented since August 2015, the project sought to increase the ability of the Seychelles Government to diversify the financial services sector in the country and provide better regulation and oversight within the sector. Read More »
03 October 2016

When the Government of Burkina Faso decided to reform and improve its business environment in the latter half of the 2000s, it embarked on a comprehensive and transformational mission. Three decades of sometimes overreaching and rigid government had left the country with an opaque, confusing and arbitrary bureaucratic system wholly unfavorable to both business and Burkinabés. Read More »
03 October 2016

Africa has always been a continent with significant investment potential. When ICF was conceived in 2005 at the G8 Summit in Gleneagles, businesses faced real challenges when it came to operating in Africa, primarily as a result of weak infrastructure and a discouraging investment climate. Since 2007 ICF has been involved in various projects with an aim to improve and change the investment climate in Africa. Our 2016 Completion Report gives an overview of the challenges that were addressed and the successes that were achieved in the past nine years of ICF operations. Read More »
09 September 2016

Implemented between 2007 and 2016, these initiatives are making it possible for businesses to register, pay their taxes, solve commercial disputes, clear goods through customs, and so much more, in a quick, simple and transparent manner. This simplification and efficiency is helping to speed up economic growth, ultimately changing the lives of millions of Africans. Read More »
07 September 2016

On 31st August 2016, ICF held its Completion event in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to mark the end of its activities and celebrate the achievements it has attained since 2007. With over 73 projects implemented in 9 years, ICF’s work has made it easier for businesses to operate in 36 African countries. Read More »
06 September 2016

Damte Tariku has been trading coffee at the Ethiopia Commodities Exchange since 2012. He works for S. Sara Coffee Export Enterprise, a family-ran business, which exports more than 40 containers of coffee each month to Asia, Europe and America. Although S. Sara owns four coffee farms, it still needs to buy coffee from other suppliers to supplement its export volumes. Read More »
01 July 2016

Starting a business can be a cumbersome, lengthy and often expensive process. Many countries’ business registration processes involve bureaucratic systems which often rely on manual procedures. These lengthy processes can gradually hinder and discourage entrepreneurs from opening a business. Read More »
01 July 2016

According to the 2016 World Bank Doing Business Report, when a country’s business registration and licencing processes are not simple, business owners might choose to run their business without the appropriate licensing. The establishment of online registration platforms, including digital forms of identification such as electronic signatures, is a good way to modernise business registration and licensing processes. Such platforms provide greater access to businesses and help to reduce time and costs associated with registering and licencing a business. Read More »
31 May 2016

Most small business owners in Africa are competing for business in an increasingly competitive global environment and entering into agreements with third parties is a business norm for those wanting to succeed. However, when one party or the other fails to keep the promises that were agreed on, disputes arise and it is vital for business continuity that all disputes are resolved in an effective and timely matter. This is why Alternative Dispute Resolution plays a critical role in promoting business activities in Africa. Read More »
31 May 2016

Contract enforcement refers to the systems and processes involved in being able to get a contract enforced through legal action. Proper contract enforcement practices enhance the predictability of commercial relationships and reduce uncertainty by assuring businesses and individuals that their contractual rights will be upheld by local courts. Read More »
03 May 2016

It is evident that successful integration into the world economy increasingly depends on the realization of a series of complex measures that fall under the heading of trade facilitation. During a World Trade Organisation Roundtable in Kenya last year, Anabel Gonzales, Senior Director of the World Bank Group Global Practice on Trade and Competitiveness, said that these measures include anything from institutional and regulatory reform to customs and port efficiency and are inherently far more intricate and costly to implement. Read More »
03 May 2016

Cargo delays at African ports are one of the major obstacles to trade in Africa and in turn hinders economic development on the continent. When cargo spends too much time at ports while waiting for clearance for export or import, it increases the costs for traders, businesses, and ultimately the consumer. Read More »
03 May 2016

On 29th April 2016, ICF and the Government of Rwanda celebrated the successful completion of four projects aimed at improving the business environment in Rwanda. Read More »
31 March 2016

The Seychelles Government has launched a national Public Private Partnership (PPP) policy with the aim of increasing private sector participation in the provision of public infrastructure and services in the country. The policy provides a framework for Government and the private sector to interact in partnership arrangements that are mutually beneficial to both sides. Read More »
31 March 2016

During the past few years the topic of land registration in Africa has been addressed numerous times. Recently, the Ethiopian Urban Development and Construction Affairs Standing Committee pressed for sound land registration systems in the country, to maximise efforts to upgrade the documentation of land registration systems. Read More »
31 March 2016

In 2008 it used to take about 235 days to register land property in Sierra Leone due to laborious manual processes of recording land titles. Information about land was submitted by members of the public and stored as hardcopy paper archives resulting in long delays and high costs which in turn caused reluctance among commercial banks to accept property as a form of collateral for credit. Read More »
29 February 2016

The economic foundations of the West African country of Senegal include industries encompassing agriculture, natural resources and commodities, while tourism and the hospitality industry are also growing in importance. Against this relatively diverse economic background, ICF, together with the Government of Senegal, has been particularly involved in projects in the areas of customs modernisation to facilitate trade across borders, tax reform and construction permits. Read More »
29 February 2016

The Registrar General’s Department (RGD) is responsible for the registration and storage of all asset related documents in Mauritius. This includes documents related to movable and immovable property transactions. Read More »
29 February 2016

Around the world, governments and multinational corporations are increasingly setting their sights on Africa as a new frontier for doing business. Potential investors want to understand where and how to invest in the most rewarding and efficient manner. Read More »
02 February 2016

A business goes through several stages of its life cycle, from inception to registration, expansion and finally closure. In each of these stages, businesses have to interact with various government institutions, like business registration bureaus and licensing bodies. The Rwanda Business Lifecycle Project set out to improve the services that the Government of Rwanda provides to businesses at each stage. Read More »
02 February 2016

In 2016 we enter our ninth year of helping to foster a positive business environment across the African continent. At ICF we believe that the private sector plays a key role in boosting economic growth, through the production of goods and services, and distributing wealth through wage earning jobs – both of which are crucial in helping countries to develop and fight poverty. Read More »
26 January 2016

William Asiko, the CEO of the Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF), will be speaking at the tenth Biennial US-Africa Business Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which takes place from 1 to 4 February 2016. It is the first time that the summit is being held in Addis Ababa. Read More »
25 January 2016

Monday 25th January 2016, Lusaka — The COMESA Business Council’s (CBC) Local Sourcing for Partnerships (LSP) project supported by the Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF), USAID and the Private sector will hold the first training of its kind in Zambia for 80 food suppliers on quality standards and food safety. The training will take place from 25-28th January 2016 at Taj Pamodzi Hotel in Lusaka, Zambia. Read More »
Press Contacts

Eunice Urio

Communications Manager
+255 222 129 211
Send an email

Elizabeth Mwambulukutu

Communications Officer
+255 222 129 211
Send an email

Share this page
Resources
Browse through our library of resources available for you to download and view.
Activity Map
Use our interactive map to follow all of our projects and activities on the African continent.
Project Application
View and download our project application forms, as well as our procurement guidelines.