CICS Embarks on Harmonizing Investment Process

2945 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
The strategy launched in 2011, is meant to address issues that will improve the business environment in the country.

Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development has embarked on the establishment of one stop center to provide information to investors. The project is being undertaken under the Competitiveness and Investor Climate Strategy-CICS. The strategy launched in 2011, is meant to address issues that will improve the business environment in the country.  The one stop center is meant to help harmonize information on registration, licensing, immigration and infrastructure.

Currently, the investment process is disintegrated, apart from the initial steps which are handled at the Uganda Investment Authority. Dr. Peter Ngategize, the CICS National Coordinator explains that the approach will reduce the time investors takes to set up a business and ease procedures required in installing utilities like electricity, water, and telephone services. The plan is to attract and retain both foreign and local investors to the countries liberal market. He says.

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However, local traders are skeptical of when the processes will take effect. They argue that they still have to endure long and duplicate processes before setting up a business. Speaking to Uganda Radio Network on the matter, Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) Chairman Everest Kayondo argued that investment information needs to benefit also local traders, who have not been prioritized in the whole process.

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Responding to the remarks, Frank Ssebowa UIA Executive Director said investor information is for both local and foreign investors. He is optimistic that once the process is tailored, it will reduce costs investors incur.

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In the 2013 ease of doing business report, Uganda was ranked 2nd after Rwanda beating Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi. The ranking is attributed to improvements made in access to credit, paying taxes and resolving insolvency. Indicators still show slow progress in obtaining construction permits and registering property, processes that Dr. Ngategize says must be improved to ensure that business thrive in Uganda.