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Uganda Government gets Shs 25b from World Bank for on-line business registration

The process of registering a business in Uganda will now be easier, after the Government yesterday unveiled an online resource centre for business licensing.

Although the e-portal will initially offer information about licenced businesses, Government has earmarked a US$10m (sh25b) World Bank loan to the Uganda Registration Services Bureau to automate business registration.

Speaking at the unveling ceremony at Serena Hotel in Kampala yesterday, Bemanya Twebaze, the registrar general, explained that under the system, people who intend to register their businesses will apply, make payments and acquire their licenses online.

The electronic business licensing portal, he added, will provide detailed information on licensing requirements for businesses in the country.

Information about the various business licences and the responsible agencies will be available on www.businesslicenses.go.ug, with maps and contacts of the agencies.

Finance minister, Maria Kiwanuka, speaking at the launch, said this was part of reforms aimed at reducing beauracratic procedures in business registration.

“The launch of this e-portal will improve the Government transparency, accountability, regulatory compliance and revenue through greater SME participation in the formal sector,” she said.

The reforms are also intended to project Uganda as an ideal investment destination in East Africa, by reducing the time and costs of business licencing.

“We want to ensure that anyone can reserve a business name, get articles of association and get a certificate within the shortest time, without even coming to our offices,” Bemanya said.
Implementation of the project is expected to start before the end of this year.

As part of the reforms instituted ahead of the project, the registration body will set up offices in Gulu, Arua and Mbale.

The World Bank’s 2013 Doing Business Report lists Uganda in second position after Rwanda, in terms of ease of doing business in the East African region.

A recent report by a committee set up to review the business licencing regime found that at least 50 business licences are obsolete, while over 70 need to be merged.

“We were shocked to learn that a hotel can pay up to seven licences, each for services such as accommodation, food or a bar,” said Gerald Ssendaula, the chairperson of the committee.

The New Vision Newspaper
12th-June-2013

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