In a bid to open up Kenya to global businesses, Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) has partnered with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to launch an e-platform.
Kenya’s first e-platform for investment facilitation comes at a time when the country is putting efforts to enhance ease of doing business. Last year, Kenya ranked better in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ and the launch of the platform will further improve business operations in the country.
Launched on the sidelines of the 10th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference, the portal will provide existing and prospective investors with a one-stop guide to Kenya’s investment regulatory framework. Additionally, this is a new frontier in promoting international trade and encouraging entrepreneurship.
Expressing his excitement about the milestone, KenInvest’s management director Moses Ikiara said: “we are proud that this milestone, the launch of the e-Regulations Portal, has been realized.” He added that the vision was to build a transparent and comprehensive system that would aid investors in decision making and implementation of their projects.
Over the years, UNCTAD has supported KenInvest in various aspects, including development of investment guide for Kenya (2012), Investment Policy review (2013), development of green investment guidelines 2015, and staff capacity building.
According to Dr Ikiara, the e-Regulations portal will greatly enhance the information support services to investors. It will provide “online step by step guide on investment application and facilitation procedures. Further, the portal will give an enhanced administrative interface between key government departments and agencies for faster and efficient registration of new investments; updating of application procedures as well as provision of information on investment opportunities and data.” This, the managing director said will help investors to lodge investment application documents much faster and easily with KenInvest.
On his part, Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary General of UNCTAD, addressing the delegates at the launch of the e-platform said: “Kenya's e-Regulations system shows that it is possible to improve administrative procedures without changing laws. Just simplifying and clarifying what already exists – at the level of procedures and at the level of implementation – will lead to better services. Eliminating unnecessary bureaucracy supports business development and facilitates investment.”
Following the launch of the portal, Kenya’s rating on the Global Enterprise Registration index, which rates countries’ online information portals for business and investor registration, has moved to the maximum 10 points.
Further, this new development is hoped to push Kenya up the ladder on World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Survey later in the year.
The latest ranking by World Bank which has seen Kenya rise an impressive 28 places in this year’s list “coupled with today’s unprecedented launch of e-Regulations – a highly valuable addition to Kenya’s business landscape – places our nation on a strong reputational footing with the international investor community,” said Mr Ikiara.
The e-portal - kenya.eregulations.org - is an online database designed to make administrative procedures transparent, swift and efficient - an essential part of KenInvest’s strategy to enable the environment for private sector investments and development.
KenInvest was established in 2004 through an Act of Parliament with its main responsibility being to facilitate the implementation of new investment projects, provide after care services for new and existing investments, as well as organizing investment promotion activities both locally and internationally.
The core functions of KenInvest include; Policy Advocacy; Investment Promotion; Investment Facilitation which includes Investor Tracking and After Care Services.
Image Credit: Salaton Njau