KAMPALA – Uganda Registration Services Bureau successfully opened the 16th Corporate Registers Forum (CRF) conference on November 09th, 2021. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic the conference will be held virtually with over 250 participants from member states from Africa, Asia, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Europe. It is a three-day conference ending on November 11th, 2021. The conference was hosted under the theme, Ease of doing business: The role of Corporate Registries.
While delivering the opening remarks on behalf of the Attorney General. Mr John Bosco Suuza, the Director Legal Advisory Services noted that, ‘corporate registries have found themselves with a need to generate reforms as much as they can; which makes this year’s theme even more fitting. Uganda as a country also needs to grow its technology and leapfrog along with it as companies and registries embrace the “new normal”. He further appreciated the role played by corporate registries in formalizing the economies world over.
The Deputy Registrar General, Mr Alex Anganya reiterated that URSB had ‘embraced electronic transactions as the new normal. ‘Today, we have achieved over 70% adoption of e-services, right from about 30% prior to the pandemic’. This is line with the URSB All digital All online strategy that is currently being implemented to limit physical interactions and have all services online.
During today’s presentations, a number of interventions undertaken to support business operations amidst COVID-19 were shared by the Malaysia and Singapore Registries. The Malaysian Registry shared experience about free business registration for vulnerable persons which witnessed an increase in business formalization as a result of the intervention. The registry also exempted fines for non-compliant companies for a period of time. On the other hand, the Singapore Registry leveraged on technology to provide seamless registration services as well as establishing a startup guide and providing e-advisors to literally walk people through the registration process.
Experience on the use of artificial intelligence and Blockchain technology in the registration of businesses was presented by Vivek Meena from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs Government of India. A panel discussion about the benefits of embracing big data and artificial intelligence was led by Noah Baalessanvu a Cryptographer and Robert Kirunda a Legal Practitioner from Uganda
The Corporate Registers Forum is an association that brings together business registries across the world. The aim of the Corporate Registers Forum is to provide members with the opportunity to review the latest developments in corporate business registers internationally and exchange experiences and information on the present and future operation of corporate business registration systems. The idea of establishing an association that brings together corporate registries was started in a discussion in the companies’ registries of New Zealand in 1999.