KAMPALA - A World Economic Forum report has urged the East African Community to address infrastructure bottlenecks, corruption and access to funding in order to achieve full economic potential.
The 2010-2011 WEF global competitiveness report released last week in Tianjin, China, cites corruption, inaccessibility of funding, poor infrastructure and high taxes as the biggest hindrances to growth in the region.
Competitiveness refers to a set of institutions, policies, and factors that determine a country’s productivity.
Corruption ranked as the biggest drawback to doing businesses in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania with 21.9 per cent, 21.7 per cent and 17.4 per cent respectively.
Rwanda, which is ranked top of the five EAC partner states in investor competitiveness, was the only country, according to the report, where corruption was not cited. It also ranked among the top five countries in sub-Saharan Africa and in the 80th position globally.
The country was credited for its strong and well-functioning institutions, low levels of corruption due to the government’s policy of non-tolerance and an excellent security environment.
The report further pointed at Rwanda’s efficient labour markets, relatively developed financial markets and high capacity for innovation. Kenya is ranked second in the EAC and 106th globally, while Tanzania is third in the EAC and 113th globally. Uganda is fourth in the EAC and 118th globally, while Burundi is third-last at the global level at 137th out of 139 countries surveyed.