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Botswana pushes ahead with online business registration system

Botswana pushes ahead with online business registration system

Botswana's Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA) will implement online business registration before end of the first quarter of 2019.

This is according to the minister of Investment Trade and Industry Bogolo Kenewendo who said the initiative will be implemented with technical and software assistance from the New Zealand government.

"The piloting stage will start in March but the final rollout will start after the new financial year (April)," said Kenewendo.

She said the project is geared towards ensuring easy access for both local citizens and foreign entrepreneurs registering business in Botswana.

CIPA has indicated that the online business registration will shorten company registration from the current three days to 24 hours.

The online system will re-register all companies in the country on a new free platform that can be accessed by the public. CIPA said the re-registration is obligatory and free of charge.

Quizzed on the cost of rolling out the project, Kenewendo remained cagey regarding the cost of the project, indicating only that government will have to dig deep into its pockets.

"The cost is obviously hefty, not hefty in terms of money alone, but also in terms of time," said the Minister.

Meanwhile Finance Minister Kenneth Matambo announced this week that several legislations were amended to enable integration of the online business registration systems, including the Companies Registration Act, Companies Amendment Act, Registration of Business Names Amendment Act and Re-Registration of Business Names Act.

Matambo said the new Acts will enable integration of the online business registration systems at CIPA, Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) and Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB), facilitating information exchange between institutions and limiting unnecessary physical interactions with the institutions.

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