Council of Governors Chair Anne Waiguru

Council of Governors (COG) has affirmed committed to harmonization of levies affecting the ease and cost of doing business in the counties.

COG Chair Anne Waiguru say counties will partner with the national government and the private sector to come up with standard charges, levies, fees and taxes so as to encourage inter-county trade.

Speaking in Nairobi during a courtesy call by Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) President Dr. Erick Rutto, the chair called on the private sector to partner with counties in developing policies that will help remove trade barriers.

She emphasized that Governors are committed to creating a conducive environment for businesses to thrive adding that some of the barriers can be well addressed through policy interventions.

Waiguru said counties are developing a database of all Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to promote linkages between the investors and the MSMEs, this being one of the Devolution Conference 2023 key resolutions

“The Council of Governors is also collating the calendar dates for County Investment forums to be shared with KNCCI for joint planning,” she said.

The Kirinyaga Governor said the devolved units are in the process of establishing the County Aggregation Centers and Industrial Parks and asked the private sector to take advantage of opportunities available.

In addressing skill gaps, Waiguru asked the private sector to help counties conduct skill gap assessment to identify the specific skills that are in demand among industries and collaborate with TVET institutions to address these gaps through targeted training programs.

On his part, the KNCCI President said double taxation and multiplicity of licenses and permits in the counties are still an impediment that are making doing of business across the devolved units a painstaking job.

Rutto said a policy intervention is needed to promote the ease of doing business in counties adding that the current situation where traders have to pay for multiple licenses and permits to operate in a single county is unsustainable and deters investors.

A single county license that encompasses all permits and is acknowledged by other county governments will spur economic activities across counties and in turn increase revenue collection,” he said.

The KNCCI President applauded the leadership of county governments that have digitized their business-related services such as license applications saying, “to attract foreign direct investments (FDI) into the devolved units, investors should be able to interact with county services from wherever they are”.

He said Counties need to digitize all their services so as to lessen bureaucracy and eradicate opportunities for corruption

Manual processes add to inter-county trade barriers and take away from our business competitiveness as a country,” Rutto added.

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