Consultation begins on Senegal Startup Act

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Online consultation has begun on the Senegal Startup Act, a stakeholder-led initiative aimed at creating a better environment for innovation and entrepreneurship in the West African country.

Disrupt Africa reported last month more than 60 key players in the Senegalese innovation ecosystem came together to draft a startup act at the i4policy hackathon in Dakar.

Held at the Impact Hub Dakar, the aim of the gathering was to draft legislation similar to that of Tunisia, which has passed its own law aimed at making itself a “startup nation”.

The result was the Senegal Startup Act, which contains a number of recommendations that aim to promote innovation and entrepreneurship, covering areas such as tax policies, startup financing, startup labeling, and the promotion of data collection and sharing so that entrepreneurs can develop better business plans.

At the end of the hackathon, the team submitted a draft of the act to the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Planning at the Ministry of the Digital Economy and the Department of Taxes and Domains. A consultation phase has now been rolled out to consolidate the document and broaden the coalition of institutional actors working together for positive reform for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Interested parties can view the act and offer feedback here, with the act divided into seven main chapters translated under 23 articles of law, dealing with things like the labelling of startups, financing mechanisms, taxation, business development, education and governance.

“Senegal’s startup manifesto will introduce a number of proposals to promote innovation and entrepreneurship by creating a more favourable environment for entrepreneurs who want to start startups in Senegal,” said Eva Sow Ebion, chief coordinator of the hackathon.

“I am convinced that together and in cooperation with our governments, we can change and improve our ecosystem and facilitate the birth and development and success of our talents.”

In May, African innovation leaders met at Impact Hub Kigali on the sidelines of the Transform Africa Summit to co-create the Africa Innovation Policy Manifesto. These attempts at co-creation of policies are now occurring at a more local level.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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