Investment Facilitation Portal(IFP)
Kenya Investment Authority

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Investors require quick leads to enquiries especially on investment application procedures, licenses, permits and approvals required. The investment regulatory environment often is characterized by bottlenecks in as far as bureaucratic red tape is concerned and unnecessary administrative delays. The Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest), being the government agency mandated with promotion of investments in the country has the overall responsibility to provide timely and accurate information to investors. For all along time, the provision of information on investment procedures has traditionally been through walk-ins, telephone calls, publications of journals and promotional materials; and whereas overtime information changes; and officers handling certain investment facilitation functions leave office. The rules of the game in doing business also change, due to environmental dictates such as external and internal shocks. e.g financial crisis, and economic downturns. Consequently it became necessary for KenInvest to explore an innovative way through which investors can access information from all over the globe in a more timely and easy manner. Before the implementation of the investment facilitation portal, the business climate was crowded with uncertainty and lack of updated information on the investment procedures. The public were not aware of the correct procedure and cost of obtaining the government services. In other occasions, some government officials didn’t know the exact requirements for the procedures and gave contradictory information on the same. The need for a tool to document the investment procedure in simple language for easy understanding of the general public and to document the procedures as they are in order to facilitate simplification of the investment procedures to reduce complexity and unnecessary steps. An innovation was therefore required in order to provide updated information on the investment procedures in the country and creation of transparency and accountability in the government services. A web based innovation tool (eregulations) became necessary to solve the above mentioned problems

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The initiative is about provision of timely, accurate and updated information on investment and business facilitation procedures in the country in an online platform that is easily accessible by the investing public. The portal is about also promoting transparency and accountability in access to government services on investment facilitation procedures and the steps therein. The portal also provides access to other government links and enables easy launching of application documents and necessary payments for permits and licenses; in which case this has improved investment ease of doing business

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
First, the general public and investors worldwide are able to access most of the information they required for investing in the country in one website. This information entails the necessary permits and licenses for starting the businesses in the country, procedures for investing in land and construction, Environmental licenses, payment of taxes etc. The portal has also documented procedures to reach out to the most vulnerable group’s e.g women and the disabled. It has documented procedures on how these vulnerable groups can gain access to government procurement opportunities (http://agpo.go.ke/), Secondly, the website created transparency and accountability in the government institutions as it documented specifically where the investor/ entrepreneur would get the investment procedure inclusive of the contact details of government official who would provide the relevant service; and a recourse in case of any complaints and enquiries. The portal also brought the government services closer to the people. It opened channels of communication between the public and the government institutions. The public can engage officials from the other government institutions; and therefore help enhance the pursuit of sustainable development goals The portal readily provides salient information to investors to enable them make quick investment decisions especially on investment opportunity, location of business and costs involved. The portal has also assisted in the simplification of the investment procedures. For example currently, the company procedures have been simplified from manual application to online applications. People can now apply for company registration online without going to the company registry house. In addition, the duration of obtaining the registration documents has also been reduced from one moth to just 3-5 days. Local companies are able to obtain the National Hospital insurance fund, National social Security Fund, Kenya Revenue Authority applications online without having to go to the different institutions. Through documentation of the procedures as they are, the investment facilitation portal assists government institutions to identify and resolve policy gaps

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The investment facilitation portal is one of its kind in the country because of the following reasons. For the first time in Kenya, investors (both international and local) and the general public have been able to obtain most of the information they require for investing in the country in one website . Secondly, the initiative is different from others as it documents the procedures as they are on the ground including exact durations with a minimum and maximum duration to ensure that accurate information is disseminated to the public. It details in a clear manner, step by step showing the public where to go (contact details), what to get (results), cost, legal justification, the requirements, and the recourse in case of enquiries including samples of documents to enhance dissemination of information to the public. It brings the government services closer to the public by establishing contact details of the government officials for the public to engage them in case of any enquiries. It also enhances transparency and accountability by provision of channels of communication with government officials. Secondly, public awareness of the cost and even legal justification of these procedures has been created.The portal is also innovation tool as it has a tab for reporting incorrect information and suggesting improvements of the procedures hence allowing incorporation of the public feedback during decision making and also enhancing simplification of such procedures.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The initiative was implemented by Kenya investment authority. The target population was investors (locally and worldwide), vulnerable groups e.g. women, youth and people with disability and entrepreneurs (both already established and upcoming). Currently, investors from more than 100 countries worldwide have accessed the portal
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The project was implemented by Kenya Investment Authority with the support of UNCTAD. The Kenya Investment Authority approached UNCTAD for technical support in development of the web based investment facilitation portal. UNCTAD has over the years been helpful to developing countries by championing solutions to developmental issues. UNCTAD has therefore been a reliable partner to Kenya government and has supported KenInvest in the past in developing investment policy tools and investment guides. KenInvest developed a concept note/ proposal that was shared with UNCTAD. Thereafter, there was exchange of notes on action points, budget and timelines needed to execute the project. KenInvest contributed in designing the action plan and also provision of staff and necessary hardware. The contribution by KenInvest provision of office space, human resource, paying for cost of office equipment, sensitization of stakeholders, training of staff and purchase of equipment (computers, printers, cameras and office stationaries). KenInvest also approached UNCTAD through the government of Netherlands to provide technical support by hiring two project consultants to support in documentation and uploading of the necessary information during the project period. The exercise required frequent visits, interactions and consultations with stakeholders to access relevant information; and therefore the need for extra human resource.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
Kenya investment authority contributed to the design and implementation of the initiative. The organization identified the key investment procedures which were to be documented and then involved the government stakeholders to help in implementation of the project and ensure its success. The key stakeholders included • The KenInvest Investment Facilitation Project Team • State law office which is deals with business and company registration. In these, we dealt with the registrar of companies and businesses and officials who served the clients. • The National construction authority for documentation of the construction permits and licenses. • The Kenya Revenue Authority which deals with revenue collection. We were able to document the procedures for obtaining the personal Identification Number which assist the citizens In payment of taxes. • Ministry of Lands which deals with the registration of any transfer of interest in Land in Kenya. • Department of immigration which issues work permits, special passes, foreign national registration card etc • National treasury which deals with the issuance of the access to government procurement opportunities certificates to women, youth and people with disability. • County governments (Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu)- We were able to document county specific procedures which investors have to adhere to . These included Business Permits issued to business to enable them operate in the county government, construction permits, Land rates which are levies imposed on land by the county government etc. • National Environmental Management Authority- The institution ensures compliance with environmental measures. • Kenya Power and lighting company for power connections to premises. • Federation of Kenya employers which protects the interests of employers in Kenya • National Social security fund and National Hospital insurance fund

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
The business facilitation portal has led to increased public awareness on investment procedures. This directly promotes formal investments in the country because through the portal the investors know exactly what is required of them and therefore more investments in the country hence increased economic growth. There is increased feedback from the private sector which consists of suggestions and opinions which are used by KenInvest to advise the respective government agencies on the challenges that the public is encountering during the procedures of obtaining compliances from their institutions. The portal has led to Transparency and accountability in public service delivery through giving investors the exact information of what is required of them from these agencies to avoid cases of overcharging of even paying agents who may not necessary be required in a certain procedure. The finances which could otherwise been used to facilitate obtaining theses compliance can be invested in the business and lead to the growth of these businesses. Though various interactions with these institutions it has led to improved rapport between government institutions. This leads to better service delivery to the public for the achievement of sustainable development goals The portal has directed led to increased investments in the country more so with the simplification of the business registration procedures. This makes it easy for investors to invest in the country. With more jobs for Kenyans, poverty is being reduced and families are able to access food and other social services. The portal has indirectly contributed to economic welfare enhancement of women and youth who are able to access government procurement opportunities. Finally it aids in assisting government institutions to identify policy gaps and constraints and therefore develop solution to mitigate sustainable developmental goals.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
The main obstacles that were en countered during implementation was the challenge to get photos and contact details of the various officers who are in charge of the procedures and also the procedure recourses. This was overcome through stakeholder sensitization meetings and through written letters to these in institutions explaining the importance of both the contact details and the photos of the officers. Another challenge was usually during data collection, the officers were giving information as per the organization charters and not as it happening on the ground. This was resolved through constant explanations on the data collection criteria and also letters written to the organizations expressing what is required of them

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
Since January 2016 KenInvest and the State law office which is responsible for business registrations in Kenya have had several interactions aimed to reform business registration procedures in the Company registry. During these interactions simplifications were implemented to make it easier for the public to formalize their businesses. Kenya Business Registration Office has since gone online. Investors are able to apply and obtain the certificates online. The documents the client needs to submit have also reduced. This was as a result the business facilitation portal having documented the procedures as they were that gave both parties the initiative to simplify the procedures. Through KenInvest interaction with Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning during the documentation of the procedures they have been able to simplify their procedures in order serve investors more efficiently Previously, the valuation for stamp duty, land consents and land rent clearance certificates was done at different times and submitted to different counters. The Ministry has now simplified this and has come up with a uniform form application form upon which the clients can submit application for the different services at once without going to different counters/departments hence reducing the duration the client would spent submitting the different applications. In addition, the ministry has also started digitizing the land records to enable people to conduct official land search online without having to go the institution. The department of Immigration and Foreign National Registration has also been able to simplify their procedures. Investors are able to obtain an entry visa online and also apply for work permits and passes. This saves them time as they can apply from the comfort of their homes. For women inclusion and vulnerable groups inclusion, the portal has documented the procedures for obtaining youth and women certificates which facilitate them to easily access government procurement opportunities

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
Yes the initiative did improve integrity in delivery of public services. The criterion the portal uses in documentation is that the officers who directly interact with the clients during the process of obtaining these compliances are supposed to give their contact details which are uploaded in the portal. The investors can directly contact them using the given contacts and enquire on anything that is not clear. Secondly there is also recourse for every step of the procedure who is an individual whom the public can contact to enquire on the services. The recourses are mostly the in charge of these departments. With clear documented information the public investors not prone to conning by business brokers since they have the facts underlying the various investment compliances and they do not have to pay fees for unnecessary facilitation. On delivery, the portal documents the time taken by these institutions to deliver the services with a maximum and a minimum duration. This tie the institutions to deliver within the timelines given contrary to that to face complains from the public which in most cases may reflect bad on the image of the institution.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
Yes the imitative benefits all including women, girls and the most vulnerable groups in the society. Firstly the team members who work on the portal are composed of both women that is and men in equal proportions and therefore exposing these women to empowerment. Secondly the portal has documented the procedure of obtaining certificates that enable women and people with disabilities have priority to access government procurement opportunities.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Kenya Investment Authority
Institution Type:   Public Agency  
Contact Person:   james Musau
Title:   Mr.  
Telephone/ Fax:   +254 722 359 604
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   musau@investmentkenya.com  
Address:   55704
Postal Code:   00200
City:   NAIROBI
State/Province:   NAIROBI
Country:  

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