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Adopting Local Good Practices Can Enhance Business Activity Across Kenya

Nairobi, September 30, 2009— A World Bank and IFC report analyzing business regulation in Kenya finds wide variation across localities. Among the 11 Kenyan localities studied, doing business is easiest in Narok, Malaba, and Thika. It is most difficult in Isiolo, Nairobi, and Kilifi.
Doing Business in Kenya 2010, released today, studies business regulation from the perspective of a small to midsize domestic firm. The localities covered by the report (from easiest to most difficult for doing business) are Narok, Malaba, Thika, Kisumu, Mombasa, Nyeri, Garissa, Eldoret, Kilifi, Nairobi, and Isiolo.
The study covers four Doing Business topics—starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering property, and enforcing contracts. Nairobi has the fastest time and lowest cost for starting a business, at 34 days and 36.5 percent of income per capita. But it lags behind other localities in the time needed to register property or enforce a contract through the courts. The other major business center, Mombasa, ranks fifth overall. It is the best-performing locality in registering property, with a time of 23 days, and ranks third in starting a business.
The report finds that dealing with construction permits takes the least time in Narok, where obtaining all permits to build a warehouse and hooking it up to utilities requires fewer than 70 days. Registering property is most expensive in Isiolo, as a result of a special transfer tax levied by the County Council. Resolving a commercial dispute takes less time in Malaba than the average in high-income countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
“We hope that by showing how the time and cost burden of selected business regulations differs in localities across the country, we help cities learn from one another—and adopt local good practices to compete nationally, regionally, and globally,” said Penelope Brook, Acting Vice President, Financial and Private Sector Development, World Bank Group.
Doing Business in Kenya 2010 was produced at the request of the Government of Kenya with support from the Kenya Investment Climate Program funded by the World Bank Group and the Dutch Government.
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About the Investment Climate Advisory Services of the World Bank Group
The Investment Climate Advisory Services of the World Bank Group help governments of developing and transition countries implement reforms to improve and simplify their regulatory environment for businesses and foster and retain investment, thus fostering competitive markets, growth, and job creation. Funding is provided by the World Bank Group (IFC, MIGA, and the World Bank) and over fifteen donor partners working through the multidonor FIAS platform.