Kenya is up 21 ranks in the World Bank’s 2016 Ease of Doing Business report, becoming the third most improved country. It is placed at position 108 out of the 189 countries in the survey released yesterday, compared to position 129 last year.
The World Bank attributed the improvement to reforms in starting a business, electricity connection, property registration and access to credit.
In getting loans, Kenya climbed 90 places to 28 from 118 last year, largely on the impact of credit scoring initiative, introduced in February 2014, under credit information sharing.
The country improved 14 places in electricity connection to number 127 while in registering a property, it is now placed at 115 from 121 last year. It is the first time since 2008, when it ranked 98th, that the country has been recognised globally for business reforms.
The survey conducted between June 2014 and May, this year, ranks Mauritius as the top business-friendly nation in sub-Saharan Africa and 32nd in the world. It is followed by Rwanda [62 globally], Botswana  and South Africa .
Singapore retained the top spot in business-friendly environment globally, followed by New Zealand,
Denmark, South Korea, Hong Kong, China, the UK, the US, Sweden, Norway and Finland.
“Today as a country we stand tall, the wheels are turning and I dare say Kenya is on the move,” Deputy President William Ruto said when he launched the report in Nairobi yesterday. “But the work has just began, the road ahead is more challenging and more needs to be done to attain our goal of being amongst the top 50 globally.”
Ruto said the government and the private sector will not relent on business reforms, as this will help Kenya tap the growing investment outflows from East Asia into Africa.
In starting business index, the opening of about 20 Huduma Centres helped improve the index but ranking fell three positions to 148.
“Kenya launched government service centres offering company pre-registration services in major towns, reducing the time required to start a business by four days,” the World Bank said in a statement. “Ten years ago, starting a business in Kenya took 54 days. Now it takes just 26 days – less than the regional average.”
Ranking for getting construction permits improved three places to 149, while that for resolving insolvency issues climbed one position to 144.
There was no change in trading across the border and enforcing contracts where Kenya remained stuck at position 131 and 102, respectively.
Rankings for paying tax and protecting the rights of minority investors however dropped two and one position, respectively, to number 101 and 115.