East Africa eases business regulations to spur investments
12 April 2012
Business Daily - 11 April 2012
Five east African countries have improved business environment for entrepreneurs in their respective nations by implementing critical regulatory reforms, a report by the World Bank has said.
The report, Doing Business in the East African Community 2012, showed the five countries of the East Africa Community (EAC) implemented a combined 10 regulatory reforms across nine areas measured.
"To start a business in the EAC now requires an average of 10 procedures and costs an average of 55 per cent of income per capita, compared to 12 procedures and a cost of 140 per cent of income per capita 7 years ago, in 2005," said the joint report by WB and International Finance Corporation (IFC). Last month, the regional countries signed a deal to remove non tariff barriers (NTBs) amongst themselves that will see the number of road blocks and weight bridges along the transit corridors reduced.
The deal enabled Kenya to reduce amount of road blocks along the northern transport corridor, which links the port of Mombasa to Uganda border, from the current 36 to five, while Tanzania will reduce their roadblocks along the central transport corridor from 30 to 15 to speed up integration process.
Analysts said barriers like customs documentation requirements, varying systems of customs formalities and non-harmonized standards requirements among others continue to impede trade within the region. They also said if NTBs were removed on maize, for example, Uganda would benefit significantly in form of increased production and trade compared to Kenya and Tanzania.