Kenya has improved 19 places to rank at position 61 in attractiveness to investors, the latest World Bank index says. The Bank says in the report that the country has made great strides in registration of property, protecting minority investors and cutting time spent on filing tax returns.
The Doing Business 2019: Training for Reform report that surveyed 190 economies ranks Kenya among top 10 most improved, having jumped from previous year’s position 80.
This is despite slow registration of property and issuance of construction permits remaining the biggest setbacks on the economy. “In recent years, Kenya has embraced a strong reform agenda aimed at boosting investment and creating jobs.
During this past year, Kenya has once again showcased itself as one of the global leaders in adopting international best practices in business regulation,” said Felipe Jaramillo, the WB Kenya country director.
The high grade came despite recording a drop in ranking in six out of 10 parameters assessed by the bank. In Africa, Kenya with a score of 70.31 comes fourth after Mauritius (20), Rwanda (29) and Morocco at position 60.
The biggest improvement was in protection of minority investors where it moved from position 62 to 11.
The report notes that Kenya has increased disclosure requirements, regulated the approval of transactions with interested parties, increased shareholder rights and strengthened corporate transparency.
Despite depressed credit that has gripped the market since 2016, Kenya moved from position 29 to eight in getting credit metric, courtesy of introducing law on secured transactions that created a unified legal framework.
The report further says last year’s decision to introduce an online system to pay fees has helped cut the time required for a business to register property from 61 days to 49.
“The Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning implemented an online land rent financial management system on the eCitizen portal, enabling property owners to determine the amount owed in land rent, make an online payment and obtain the land rates clearance certificate digitally,” notes the Bank.