Dar es Salaam: A newly released 2011 Business Climate Index has pointed out that there is a high level of corruption in all police check points within the East African region, with Uganda leading by 94 per cent followed by Kenya by 70 per cent while Rwanda follows with 63 per cent. The Arusha-based East African Business Council in its recently launched report on the Business Climate Survey Index in the five EAC member states - Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi - has revealed that corruption and unnecessary delays were still major obstacles at customs points.
According to the report released over the weekend, Tanzania has recorded 57 per cent. The least corrupt police in the region are in Burundi with only 33 per cent. The report has indicated that the region has a 59 per cent average of corruption.
The report noted reasons for the bribery as overloaded vehicles, incorrect cargo documents, speeding, defective vehicles and driver’s papers not being in order. It also mentioned problems created by weighbridge procedures on compliance, noting that the complexity of the processes leads to unintentional overloading and delayed delivery of products to markets.
The Business Climate Index 2011 survey was carried out between September and December 2011, with the aim of collecting and disseminating information on the business environment in EAC countries in order to track improvements or deteriorations on Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) and other business climate factors.
The survey focused on collection of actual evidence on incidences and impacts of NTBs to intra-EAC trade under port, customs, immigration, police, weighbridges, technical standards, SPS, and business registration and licensing procedures as well as administrative requirements. It also benchmarked the EAC countries against international best practices where data was available.
A large percentage of businesses are not aware about requirements for importing and exporting in home country, in other EAC countries and in non-EAC countries. Need for sensitising businesses about import and export requirements so as to enhance compliance and ability to exploit available trade opportunities.
According to the Business Climate Index of 2011 report, customs procedures has improved in Burundi by 50 percent compared to 20 percent rated Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar, while other states have shown improvements by having much percentages that what has been scored by Tanzania.
Uganda has recorded 45 percent, while Kenya has 41 percent and Rwanda seems to improve by having improved by 36 percent. But Tanzania is leading by a large percentage of businesses indicate efficiency in customs procedures stayed the same in 2010 by 77 percent followed by Rwanda with 58 percent.