19-04-2021 by Freddie del Curatolo
For the first time, Kenya is ranked better than Italy at international level on the accessibility and ease of developing business in the country.
This is revealed by the World Bank's annual ranking, through its recently published "Ease to do business" report.
This year Kenya ranks 56th in the special ranking that calculates various factors that contribute to giving optimism to companies that want to invest. Italy is only 58th, preceded by Kosovo.
Bureaucracy, taxes, availability and cost of electricity and raw materials, building permits and operating licences, registration of property and assets, import-export and interest on loans are the main items that determine the final ranking, which this year rewards New Zealand ahead of Singapore and Hong Kong. First European nation, Denmark in fourth place. The only African nation ahead of Kenya, but not sub-Saharan, was Morocco in position 53. The World Bank therefore considers Kenya to be the most accessible country in non-Mediterranean Africa for opening a new business. The second most accessible country, South Africa, is eighty-third, closely followed by Zambia.
Nairobi's good rating is the fourth most accessible country in the world for obtaining loans. A sign that an investment in Kenya, if carried out in a serious and professional manner, is considered by the World Bank and by credit and financial institutions, a potential success. This is not the case in Italy, for example, and according to the report Rome has slipped to number 119, shared with Pakistan, the Dominican Republic and Ecuador. A sad state of affairs.
Where does Kenya need to improve? According to the World Bank report in the procedures for obtaining work permits and acquiring property titles.
The ranking, and this may explain the optimism, does not take corruption into account. But it has to be said that year after year the Kenyan government, especially with the digitisation of all the major offices that issue documents, is improving a lot.
It is a system that is trying to change radically, after decades of habits and procedures "aumm aumm" and that will hopefully reap the benefits in some time. For now, there are still a few hiccups.
In any case, investing in Kenya for an Italian company with clear ideas and skills, can be something more than a valid alternative to floundering at home.
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