Tunisia’s Startup Act Paves Way for Supporting Tech Ecosystem in Africa

Tunisia, startup act, Houssem Eddine Touil

Recently, Tunisia passed the ‘Startup Act’ in order to support tech ecosystem in the country. The law came to force after two years deliberation. Some of the stakeholders were investors, upcoming entrepreneurs, legislators and civil society. The aim was to transform Tunisia’s economy from the traditional sectors to science and technology. The provisions include startups findings, corporate tax exemptions, and international patents among others. It also outlines the conditions for label application by startup developers. They comprised of investors, 2/3 stakeholders policy, and less than 100 employees. Other conditions include innovative business model and less than eight years existence.

Houssem Eddine Touil facilitated the Tunisian Startups international partnerships. The organization advocates for the startup law in the country. Houseem believes that the law will improve tech administration processes and mentors startups. According to Youssef Chahed, Tunisia’s prime minister, the law digitalized Tunisia’s economy. He added that it will mitigate many problems threatening Northern Africa countries. The challenges constitute high rate of unemployment, low economic growth, and high poverty rates.

Industry insiders’ index helped in tracking the startups’ impact on the local economy. Wafa Ben-Hassine, an advocacy group called for solidification of privacy gains. It also required the government to reduce broad surveillance powers. He also emphasized that startup growth and development need a free environment. There exists the risk of companies manipulating the laws for their own interest gains. Chiheb Ghazouani stated that there are guarantees against all sorts of manipulations.

In the last two years, Africa startups recorded a growth rate of forty percent. Across the continent, startups suffer from lack of regulatory framework. The other critical challenge is inadequate capital. One of the archaic investment bottlenecks is keeping off angel investors. In Nigeria, startups are not permitted to raise money through crowdfunding. Western Africa startups face tough regulation prohibiting them from using drones.

The African governments need to focus on the operating system of the tech ecosystem as a whole. Ameya Updhadyay pleaded for improvement of business environment. He wanted the African startups to progress measured against the international rankings.

The Lagos’ Yabacon Valley showed how African governments can boost startups ecosystem. In 2013, the state government partnerships accessed the high-speed internet fiber cables. This policy allowed the startups to improve their connectivity for business expansion. Mr. Paul Kagame from Rwanda advocated for the local business environmental improvement strategies. The Kenyan government partnered with innovative hubs to support entrepreneurs. Besides supporting entrepreneurs, the Kenyan government also fund startups. The government further improves internet penetration and digital literacy in Kenya. Walid Sultan noted that Tunisia’s act will enable startups to grow. A couple of days after the law enforcement, Google began supporting entrepreneurs. The move provided a boost in local tech startups development in the country. Sultan added that the law also helped to end the failure-averse strategy in Tunisia.


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Written by Denis Opudo

Am an engineer who's a tech blogger, hit me up on [email protected] and we base our discussion on technology in Africa and the rest of the world.
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