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Kenya woos more investors with single clearing agency

NEWS
By - NICHOLAS WAITATHU | August 2nd 2013

By NICHOLAS WAITATHU

The Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) has started assembling personnel to establish a one-stop centre for investors. The move is aimed at attracting more investments into the country.

KenInvest Managing Director Dr Moses Ikiara yesterday confirmed that personnel from various State departments are being deployed to ease registration of businesses and investments in the country.

“We have for the last few months made some strides in terms of setting up a single platform which investors can be assisted from and thus reduces the time taken to register a business in the country,”

“Negotiations are ongoing to have more staff transferred to the centre for effective service delivery,” Dr Ikiara said.

Service staff

Ikiara explained that staff from Nema, Immigration and Registrar of Companies are already stationed at Keninvest, serving investors.

He added that it will take about two months to have the necessary staff that can carry out duties effectively.

Phase one of the project requires KenInvest, Department of Immigration, Nema, Registrar-General, Kenya Revenue Authority and the Ministry of Lands and Housing to be roped in. Others will include Nairobi County Government and Ministry of Tourism.

Dr Ikiara observed that more staff will be assembled so as to ease operations, save time and money as investors will be attended to under-one roof.

Kenya is rated as one the countries in the region where investors takes long before registering business.  According to the World Bank titled Doing Business 2013 Report, Kenya is ranked on position 126 globally compared to 132 in 2012.  

It takes 10 procedures and 32 days to start a simple business in Kenya.

In Rwanda, an investor undergoes two processes and three days — making it the most favourable country in the region in terms of starting a business. 

During the same period Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda actualised only one reform respectively Rwanda, and Burundi implemented two and four changes in the economy.

Rwanda revamped up its business start-up process, making it easier and cheaper to set up a limited liability company by establishing a one-stop shop and cutting the cost of business registration.

 Burundi initiated the concept in 2012 reducing procedures an investor has to undergo to start a business from eight to four procedures, taking eight days on average.

Economic reforms

The one stop shop concept has been in the offing since early 1990s when the country embarked on economic, political and social reforms.

Ikiara stated much has not been achieved though reforms have been undertaken in some sectors of the economy.

For example, in 2012 Foreign Direct Investment (FDIs) and Domestic Direct Investment declined by Sh96 billion accounting to more than 160 per cent compared to figures registered in 2011.

Asset inflows into the country dropped to Sh60 billion as at end of 2012 compared to Sh156 billion registered in 2011.


 

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