The effort is part of a nationwide sensitisation drive by media and public relations consultant WAX Media to inform the Gambian public about the requirements and concessions of this swifter and cheaper way to legally register a business in The Gambia under two new laws known as Single Window Business Registration Act 2013 and Companies Act 2012.
Staff members of the business registry section of the Ministry of Justice were deployed as part of the sensitisation effort so that they could provide on-the-spot registration services to existing as well as new businesses along the way. The registrar of companies Lamin Touray, was on hand to sign the business certificates after the computerisation of personal details by legal clerks which does require internet connection with the system’s main server in Banjul.
“Since the new system came into effect on February 1st 2014, to date, we have processed and registered 5,312 sole proprietor businesses and 973 companies at the Ministry of Justice in Banjul and at the KMC office in Kanifing,” Touray disclosed. “Our target is to register all businesses in The Gambia under the new system and to shorten the time it takes to process a new business certificate to a couple of hours. We are already able to achieve that here in Farafenni,” he confirmed, as he handed over a new business certificate to an applicant in Farafenni after approving it online and appending his signature to it as registrar of companies.
In Jarra Soma, Farafenni, Bansang, Basse and Brikamaba the team set up a network of computers and printers close to the business area in each of the towns and received both new and existing business applicants, who waited while the formalities of processing their certificates were completed. Omar Sallah, a car mechanic in Soma was ecstatic over the prospect of getting his business registration certificate in such an easy and quick manner. “I would have had to close my garage and make that 180 kilometre return journey at my cost to Banjul and stay there for days to get this very important certificate,” he said while brandishing the newly acquired legal document proudly.
The Single Window Business Registry was established in 2013 by the Single Window Business Registration Act 2013 with funding from IDA/World Bank under the Growth and Competitiveness Project. Its purpose is to make it much easier and quicker to meet the legal requirements for setting up a business in The Gambia. The new system reduces the time it takes to register a business in The Gambia to 1 day as opposed to 27 days as stated in the World Bank Doing Business Report 2013.]]>