Uganda’s $10m online business portal to improve licensing process

Posted In Africa, Technology - By admin on Sunday, June 23rd, 2013 With No Comments »

imagesUganda is introducing a $10 million business licensing portal project to ease the cost of doing business in the country. The E-registry, which will be operational next year, will enable investors to identify and obtain licences online.

Investors will be able to make licence applications and payments online; view the status of their applications and all issued licences as well as receive relevant notifications.

Minister for Finance, Planning and Economic Development Maria Kiwanuka said the project funded by the World Bank through the Competitive and Enterprise Development Project (CEDP), aims to improve government transparency, accountability, and regulatory compliance.

“When the E-registry becomes fully operational, the government expects improved ranking on the World Bank’s Doing Business Index and an improved general regulatory environment for business operations in the country,” said Ms Kiwanuka.

The World Bank’s Doing Business 2013 report ranks Uganda as having the least efficient process in the EAC for starting a business, followed by Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda.

Ms Kiwanuka said the Uganda Registry Services Bureau, in partnership with the Ministries of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Finance, Planning and Economic Development, and other business regulators, will be responsible for managing the E-registry portal.

Reforms needed

In March 2011, the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development formed a Business Licensing Reform Committee (BLRC) to carry out a review on the country’s business licensing reforms.

The BLRC 2012 report found that Uganda has 790 licenses issued by both central and local government agencies countrywide, of which 572 are issued by 65 government ministries, departments and regulatory agencies, while 218 are issued by local governments.

The report notes that the costs incurred by businesses in complying with licensing requirements amount to Ush725.7 billion ($275.6 million) — 57 per cent constitutes the actual licence fees and 43 per cent is the administrative cost of obtaining the licences.

-The Eastern Africa

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