The Ivorian government is ramping up its efforts to support tech start-ups with the launch of the Startup Act, a new framework designed to help promising young companies thrive.
The move is part of the country’s wider development plan, which has made technological innovation a top priority. The Startup Act is designed to give greater visibility and recognition to up-and-coming start-ups in Côte d’Ivoire.
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“The idea is not to copy the Tunisian legislation but to adapt it to the reality of our economy,” said Florence Tahiri Fadika, technical advisor in charge of innovation and change at the ministry of communication and the digital economy. “A mapping study is underway and should enable us to precisely target the needs of our ecosystem.”
Fadika said the Startup Act is driven by strong political will and aims to bring about tangible results for Ivorian start-ups. Under the new framework, eligible companies will have access to state-of-the-art infrastructure and other amenities to help them succeed both regionally and internationally.
To encourage and recognise excellence in the sector, the Startup Act includes the establishment of a committee of experts and enthusiasts who will grant an annual award to deserving start-ups. Beneficiaries will be able to access new opportunities in training, financing, promotion, and access to public contracts and international markets.
Fadika is optimistic about the future of Côte d’Ivoire’s tech sector, and believes the new framework, combined with planned construction projects for technology parks and start-up campuses, will help the country become a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.
“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,” she said.
The Startup Act is the result of a reflection initiated in 2018 and was accelerated by a benchmarking study with Tunisian counterparts in 2022. Tunisia was one of the first countries in Africa to introduce a Startup Act, and its experience was identified as a valuable resource for Côte d’Ivoire.
Côte d’Ivoire’s Startup Act is currently awaiting parliamentary approval, but work is already underway to make it a reality. The government hopes the new framework will provide a much-needed boost to the country’s start-up sector, and help foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.