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URSB showcases achievements at the World Bank Open Day

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Added 8th June 2017 09:54 AM

The World Bank funding to Uganda dates as far back as the early 1960s when through the International Development Association (IDA) Uganda received credit for hydropower development.

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The World Bank funding to Uganda dates as far back as the early 1960s when through the International Development Association (IDA) Uganda received credit for hydropower development.

By Bemanya Twebaze

May 30, 2017 was the inaugural World Bank-Government (WBG) of Uganda Open Day event in Kampala under the theme “Partnering for Development”. It was meant for Ugandans to appreciate the tangible benefits and impact the WBG support has created in realising the country’s development goals.

The World Bank funding to Uganda dates as far back as the early 1960s when through the International Development Association (IDA) Uganda received credit for hydropower development.

Today, the World Bank supports different sectors that focus majorly on trade and competitiveness, strengthening social service delivery, raising incomes in rural areas, energy, health, skills in education and infrastructural development among others.

Two years ago, Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) benefited from the World Bank support through the Private Sector Foundation Uganda, under the Competitiveness and Enterprise Development Project (CEDP).

Under the project support­, URSB handles business registration and licensing reforms that aim at reducing the burden for businesses in dealing with registration and licensing procedures by creating an online one-stop-shop for business registration and an e-registry for business licensing and by implementing measures aimed at simplifying and streamlining business registration and business licensing procedures.

URSB is also supported by among others the Justice Law and Order sector (JLOS) whose intervention has played a key role in enabling the Bureau simplify the hitherto rigorous and burdensome registration processes, for an improved private sector.

At URSB, digitalisation of the business registry records has emerged as a game changer in the way we conduct registration because it creates a seamless, fast and effective system of conducting business through searches, filings and new registrations.

As we joined the other MDAs on May 30, to showcase our improved processes, therefore, we conducted sensitisation in business registration, business licensing and intellectual property. We also carried out name reservations for potential companies/businesses, name search and also registered and issued certificates for businesses instantly.

As a result of key government interventions, the World Bank and other partners support, URSB today can proudly inform the public about the reforms that have facilitated a very fast, effective and seamless business registration process.

  1. -      An improved turnaround time for registration of businesses from more than week in 2015 to four hours today.
  2. -      An Online name search facility, which has enabled applicants to easily check potential availability of names without necessarily interfacing with URSB staff.
  3. -      The E-licensing portal, which is an online one stop shop for all sector licenses in the country to give potential investors access to information on all business licenses in the country.
  4. -      Decentralisation of registration services so as to make them available at your nearest point. You can find registration services in our regional offices in Gulu, Mbale, Arua and Mbarara and in Kampala branch offices.
  5. -       Establishment of a Customer call centre to enable easy communication internally and with clients.
  6. -       A fully equipped mobile registration van to carry out “on the go” registration services.
  7. -      Partnerships with various agencies such as Uganda Revenue Authority, Kampala Capital City Authority and Ministry of Local Government under the Tax Payer Register Expansion programme (TREP) arrangement. The outcome of which has been the establishment of nine One-Stop-Shops within KCCA where applicants get services offered by any of the agencies. The same service has been extended to 34 urban municipalities in the country.
  8. -       Payment by mobile money/VISA as an alternative to the traditional means of payment at bank counters.
  9. -      Operationalisation of the Government Business Facilitation center (One stop shop) with six agencies all offering registration services that contribute to the “starting a business indicator.”

As we continue to reform the business registration process to enable private sector growth, jobs and wealth creation, we have started working on the following;

  • Together with Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) and Capital Markets Authority (CMA), we are set to begin construction of an office building named the “Uganda Business Facilitation Centre” which will also house the One Stop Centre to serve all businesses and investors.
  • The current licenses portal, is transforming into an online transactional licenses registry to ease licensing procedures by enabling applications and payments online for all sector licenses. 
  • We also plan to introduce a network of more local and regional offices, to supplement the ones that are already in existence.
  • Under our planned online Business Registration System, applications and registrations will soon be done in the comfort of our clients’ homes, among others


In the recent 2017 World Bank Doing Business report, Uganda was rated among the best top 10 countries that have undertaken doing business reforms positively impacting on the private sector expansion and growth.

Uganda's ranking, indicated an improvement seven positions up (from 122nd  to 115th) out of the 190 assessed economies partly because of reforms at URSB’s simplified preregistration and registration formalities and URA’s improved trade across borders.

With the current reforms implemented this year, we believe that Uganda’s ranking is set to improve further and the country’s private sector growth will continue soaring.

The writer is the Registrar General of the Uganda Registration Services Bureau



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