The Ivorian government has unveiled its Startup Act, a framework designed to support the country’s most talented entrepreneurs in achieving their goals.
The first specific startup law globally was passed in Italy in 2012, and Tunisia and Senegal were the first two African countries to enact them. A host of countries, including Mali, Ghana, Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Kenya, are at varying stages of enactment. The Nigeria Startup Act was signed into law in October.
Ivory Coast has made technological innovation a priority in its national development plan, looking particularly at high-potential startups, and it has now unveiled a new legal framework – the Ivorian Startup Act, which is awaiting parliamentary approval. The news results from a reflection initiated in 2018.
“A meeting with our Tunisian counterparts during a benchmarking study at the end of 2022 accelerated the process,” said Florence Tahiri Fadika, technical advisor in charge of innovation and change at the country’s Ministry of Communication and the Digital Economy. “Tunisia is one of the first countries in Africa to have implemented a Startup Act. Their model is inspiring because it is very operational. The benchmarking mission, organised by the NTF V project, enabled us to benefit from Tunisia’s experience and to identify good practices.”
Following Tunisia’s model, the Ivorian Startup Act is driven by a strong political will and intends to bring concrete results.
“While waiting for the law to be officially voted by our assemblies, we are already working to make the Startup Act a tangible reality. The idea is not to copy the Tunisian legislation but to adapt it to the reality of our economy. A mapping study is underway and should enable us to precisely target the needs of our ecosystem,” Fadika said.
“At the same time, we are developing construction projects for new technology parks and startup campuses. Under the Startup Act, eligible startups will be able to benefit from state-of-the-art infrastructure and numerous amenities in order to succeed both regionally and internationally.”
A committee of experts and enthusiasts will grant a Startup Act award, with beneficiary startups able to access new opportunities in terms of training, financing, promotion and access to public contracts and international markets.