7TH October, 2016
By Maina Kigaga
Kenya has been making strong and decisive progress towards improving its business environment as part of efforts to attract foreign direct investments and create jobs.
The country has also streamlined business start –up requirements and increased transparency in property registration at the national and county level.
This was said by Cabinet Secretary National Treasury, Henry Rotich when he took part as a panelist in a session on the Role of Doing Business Reforms in countries to spur growth-“The Faster Lions” in Washington D.C. on the sidelines of the annual IMF/World Bank meetings.
Other panel participants in the session held at the International Finance Corporation- Auditorium and moderated by Wallace Kantai of Nation TV and chaired by Klaus Tilmes of the World Bank included Claver Gatete, Minister of Finance and Economic planning of Rwanda, El Moctar Djay, Minister of Economy and Finance of Mauritania and Dr. Jumoke Oduwole of Nigeria’s Office of the Vice President.
The Cabinet Secretary said that Kenya had revamped several important laws, including the 2015 Companies Act and the Insolvency Act. The Act eliminated the requirement to have registration documents notarized before the Commissioner of Oaths, thus reducing the procedural complexity and time for starting a business.
“In the area of access to finance, Kenya improved access to credit information by passing legislation that allows the sharing of positive information and by expanding borrower coverage” the Cabinet Secretary said.
He added that Kenya Power has reduced delays for new connections by enforcing service delivery timelines and hiring contractors for meter installation. Kenya Power has also streamlined the process of getting electricity by introducing the use of a geographic information system which eliminates the need to conduct a site visit, thereby reducing the time and interactions needed to obtain an electricity connection.
The first Doing Business report was published in 2003 and covered 133 economies and 5 topics. Since then, it has become one of the World Bank group’s flagship products that this year covers 190 economies, and provides policymakers with a tool to reform in 11 areas of business regulation, all of which are critical for lives of domestic small and medium enterprises.
Doing Business gives countries a unique opportunity to measure their progress year-to-year and benchmark their performance based on their peers in the region and globally.
Research shows that Doing Business reforms greatly contributed to reduce the administrative burden faced by the private sector in complying with business regulations resulting in significant cost savings by entrepreneurs.