The World Bank Group’s Trade & Competitiveness Global Practice, through its Business Regulation Program, is helping the Government of Côte d’Ivoire to improve its business inspection systems to enhance corporate governance, transparency and the quality of services provided by firms in the tourism and health sectors.
At a workshop organized by Côte d’Ivoire’s Public Private Concertation Committee (CCESP) and the Bank Group, the two launched the Joint Inspection Management System IT Platform. The Platform is an online service that increases the speed and efficiency of inspections and helps companies comply with norms and standards, thus improving their performance.
“The benefits we have received through the implementation of the Joint Inspection System project are impressive,” said Fadiga Fofana, CCESP Executive Secretary. “Indeed, beyond the strengthening of the current norms, this initiative helps to improve the quality of health services and restaurant performance, helping to improve Côte d’Ivoire’s image internally and externally.”
Workshop participants were introduced to new check list tools and the IT platform.
Business owners express appreciation
Among the participants were representatives of 49 enterprises from the tourism and health sectors in the districts of Marcory, Treichville and Plateau, where the new tools have been piloted.
Data from the tool reveals that most of the enterprises that have used it are in compliance with official standards. Furthermore, most of the restaurants, “maquis” and cafe-bars inspected have implemented good practices in enterprise license, staff awareness of first aid and fire safety, sanitation, cleaning, housekeeping, food protection, and access to clean water and sanitation system.
Beneficiaries from private and public sectors expressed their appreciation.
“Previously the system was disorganized, based on sanctions rather than providing guidance, with little information to enterprises on check-lists and the dates for inspections,” said business owner Brou Jeanette, from Maquis Duval. “Now, I have received advice in hygiene control and food security norms that has helped me to improve the quality of my services. I welcome inspectors to my premises to share good practices and to learn how I can better meet my customers’ needs.”
Kassy Etien, Mayor of the city of Marcory, who serves as the spokesperson for public sector beneficiaries said: “I find the IT platform and the new based-risk approach very useful. My district, and other public institution beneficiaries, are committed to equipping our inspectors to use the new tools in our inspection activities.”
However, the news was not positive for all participants. Less than half of all enterprises in the pilot districts are in compliance with the standards and need improvement. Key areas that need to be addressed include: storage management for materials and chemical products.
A particular issue of concern is ensuring that expiration dates on stock remain visible. Other concerns to be addressed include safety norms, elaborating a staff training plan, providing employee outfits and changing rooms, respect of the distance between dining rooms and kitchens in restaurants and separating client and employee restrooms.
The Côte d’Ivoire Business Regulation program under which the new platform was developed aims to improve the business enabling environment for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country, and specifically for women-owned businesses. To this end, the Program:
- Provides reform advisory service interventions in relation to (a) construction permits, (b) registering a property, (c) starting a business, (d) trading across borders, (e) enforcing contracts, and (f) paying taxes. The success of this intervention will be measured by the number of reforms reported by the Doing Business report.
- Reduces the compliance cost of business licensing and inspection regimes in two priority sectors.
- Recommends legal reforms aimed at giving women equal rights in doing business, so the creation and formalization of women-owned businesses will increase from 10 to 25 percent of total enterprises registered.
- Reinforces commercial justice by implementing a mediation mechanism and strengthening the commercial court.
The June 15 workshop was co-chaired by the Chief of Staff of Cote d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Finance Adama Coulibaly, as well as Japanese Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire Hiroshi Kawamura, and hosted 84 participants from sectorial ministries, heads of enterprises and inspection bodies.
Source: World Bank