Kenya Startup Bill Seeking To Establish A Suitable Environment For Innovation

Kenya inches closer to joining the ranks of Tunisia and Senegal that have been the first two African countries with startup specific legislation, how will the bill impact tech startups?


Tunisia did it first, Senegal followed suit not long after, Ethiopia and Rwanda have begun the process and Kenya might be next on joining the bandwagon of the first startup ecosystems to publish its own proposed legislation.

The Startup Bill 2020 was published in the Kenya Gazette on September 14, sponsored by Nairobi County senator Johnson Sakaja, under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, with most of the implementation assigned to the Kenya National Innovation Agency.

The Bill, which aims to “provide a framework to encourage growth and sustainable technological development and new entrepreneurship employment; to create a more favourable environment for innovation; to attract Kenyan talents and capital; and for connected purposes”, will now go through both houses of the Kenyan parliament and a public participation stage before it potentially becomes law.

Though called “The Startup Bill”, the proposed legislation is actually primarily focused on incubators. It allows for the “the establishment of incubation facilities at the National and county levels of government”, and empowers Kenia and county executive committee members to establish a national and county incubation policy framework for the development of the business incubation sector and startup system.

The Bill further seeks the establishment of incubation facilities at the National and county levels of government, the establishment of an environment that promotes the establishment of startups and monitoring and evaluation of the legal and regulatory framework to encourage the development of such startups. T

Furthermore, the Bill stated the National and county governments shall promote innovation, facilitate the transfer of technology innovation, and create and develop a sustainable, globally competitive technology innovation sector that contributes towards the accelerated growth of the economy. This is good news for tech start ups as they will have a wider array of resources allocated to their benefit.

Senator Sakaja thoughts on the bill were clear. That Kenya is a hub not only for Africa but for the world. Outlining how the country can establish a silicon savannah through innovation and creating the platforms for the next frontier of jobs.



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