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Uganda Overtakes Kenya in World Bank Doing Business Index

Uganda has overtaken Kenya as the most attractive place to invest in and do business. The country rose in the “2013 Doing Business Report” jumping from position 123 (in 2012) to 120 out of 185 countries as attempts at reforming the doing business environment slowly pay off.

Kenya, East Africa’s largest economy slid from 109 last year to 121 mainly because of its inability to sustain reforms it started in the area of awarding building permits.

Uganda made major inroads in the housing sector specifically where the country strengthened its insolvency process by clarifying rules on the creation of mortgages, establishing the duties of mortgagors and mortgagees.

The other reform was clarity on defining priority rules, providing remedies for mortgagors and mortgagees, and establishing the powers of receivers. The World Bank report also indicates that Uganda also made transferring property easier by digitising records at the title registry, increasing efficiency at the assessor’s office.

Business leaders have welcomed the progress, but said a lot remains to be done for the country to turn its natural abundance to real value.

East Africa excelled with Burundi with four reforms, ranking among the 10 economies worldwide that improved the most in the past year.

Burundi is the only low-income economy on the list while Rwanda stood out for implementing 26 regulatory reforms since the report was first published.

At the top of the pile for the seventh consecutive year was Singapore. But there were also setbacks especially with tax administration as the tax man pushes to rope in more revenue from property.

David Mugaba
The New Vision Newspaper

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