Nigeria promotes innovation, becomes latest African country to pass startup law

by MMC
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With presidential approval marking its final adoption, the Nigeria Startup Bill became the Nigeria Startup Act on Wednesday October 19.

Aimed at fostering innovation and creating a welcoming environment for new businesses, the law first defines what type of business is classified as a startup, then introduces a series of incentives such as tax breaks, financing and l Access to an assisted licensing procedure.

And FinTechs, most of which are often held back by the significant resources companies need to obtain the licenses needed to operate in the financial services sector, can breathe a sigh of relief.

Learn more: 5 Things to Know About Nigeria’s Startup Bill

The Startup Act mandates the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to “ease licensing procedures for labeled startups that operate as fintech companies.” .

Aside from helping to elevate the country’s startup scene in general, many hope that the Nigeria Startup Act will help spread the country’s technological innovation and foster a culture of innovation beyond the popular clusters of Lagos and Abuja in the 36 states.

One of the contributors to the law, Oswald Osaretin Guobadiasenior special assistant to the president for digital transformation, said this week that the government intends to support states in implementing the law, as part of efforts to create opportunities for the entire country .news, EMEA, international, MENA, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, startups, legislation, innovation,

Create a regional startup manual

Although Nigeria is the latest country to spur needed growth in the startup sector at the policy level, the West African country is not the first country to make a legislative decision.

In 2018, Tunisia became the first country in the region to adopt a law on startups. Four years later, more than 700 Tunisian companies have received their startup label, many of which, like enterprise AI startup InstaDeep, have achieved international success.

Learn more: 4 years after adopting its Startup Act, AI proves to be a winner for Tunisia

Senegal followed suit a year later, becoming the second African country after Tunisia to adopt a law dedicated to startups in December 2019.

Work is also underway to boost startup growth regionally. The African Union (AU), made up of 55 member states, has made regulatory reform and support for startups key pillars of its action. digital transformation strategy.

In this context, James ManyikaGoogle senior vice president for technology and society, revealed Earlier this month, at the Google for Africa 2022 event, the tech giant partnered with the AU to guide the institution on how it can help more African countries formulate startup invoices.

Learn more: Internet and Cloud Capabilities Define Google’s Billion-Dollar Investment in Africa

Currently, the governments of Ghana, Kenya and Mali are in various stages of debating, amending and ratifying their respective startup bills, while politicians and entrepreneurs have called for similar measures in South Africa and Ivory Coast.

Ultimately, the focus on legal frameworks that accelerate startup creation and innovation reveals the promise of such initiatives for African economies.

While private sector investment and associated incubators and mentoring programs are also essential, legislative acts that create connections between business and government can have a huge impact on sectors such as financial technology, where the burden of regulations can be intense and difficult to manage.

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