The Senegalese government has finally passed the Startup Act into law. The Startup Act was passed into law after 90% votes from members of the National Assembly.
The Senegal Startup Act was drafted by more than 60 stakeholders in the Senegalese innovation ecosystem in 2018. By December 2019, it was adopted by President Macky Sall’s Council of Ministers for approval by the National Assembly. The Startup Act aims to positively impact the national economy in line with the Digital Senegal 2025 Strategy.
It is a governance framework that contains recommendations for tax policies, financing, data collection and sharing for startups. It also contains a suitable legal condition for registering and labelling new startups in the country.
The law is aimed at promoting innovation so that entrepreneurs can develop better business plans. It intends to promote economic, financial and social inclusion for active participation in the development of the country.
With this latest development, Senegal is now the second African country to pass the Startup Act. Tunisia was the first to establish a governance framework for its startups in 2018. Similarly, the Malian government drafted a document that comprises of policies that will make up its Startup Act. In Ghana, i4Policy is currently developing the Ghanaian Startup Act. Rwanda is also on its way on drafting its Startup Act.
The Senegalese government also formed the Délégation de l’Entrepreneuriat Rapide (DER). Its mission is to help boost entrepreneurship and a sustainable framework for mobilizing resources for innovation. It addresses the lack of early support systems, accelerators and early-stage funding for startups.
So far, it has invested more than $2 million in more than 40 Senegalese startups. In December 2019, DER, i4policy, the African Development Bank, World Bank and other partners drafted the Senegal Startup Act at the #DakarPolicyHack.