Startup Act: Côte d’Ivoire shifting up a gear
The Ivorian government has unveiled the Startup Act: a framework designed to support the country's most talented start-ups.
Côte d’Ivoire has made technological innovation a priority in its national development plan, looking particularly at high-potential start-ups.
To give more weight and visibility to young innovative companies, Côte d’Ivoire has announced a new legal framework. The Ivorian Startup Act, which is awaiting parliamentary approval, should soon bring a wind of change in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
This 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, who is technical advisor in charge of innovation and change at the 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, organized by the NTF V project, enabled us to benefit from Tunisia's experience and to identify good practices.”
Making Côte d’Ivoire a talent pool
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 start-up campuses,” she said. “Under the Startup Act, eligible start-ups 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. The beneficiary start-ups will be able to access new opportunities in terms of training, financing, promotion and access to public contracts and international markets.
Fadika is already planning for an Ivorian delegation to attend the important Vivatech trade fair. “With the help of the NTF V project and all the support structures of the ecosystem, we can make Côte d’Ivoire an attractive hub for start-ups from Africa and elsewhere.”
The Netherlands Trust Fund V (NTF V) (July 2021 - June 2025) is based on a partnership between the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International Trade Centre. The programme supports SMEs in the digital technology and agribusiness sectors in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Senegal and Uganda. It aims at contributing to an inclusive and sustainable transformation of agri-food systems partly through digital solutions, improving the competitiveness of local tech start-ups internationally and supporting the implementation of IT&BPO companies’ export strategies.