In a move expected to boost the country’s startup ecosystem, Kenya’s President William Ruto has promised to sign the Startup Bill 2022 into law.
Speaking during the Kenya Innovation Week (KIW), the president said he will sign the bill into law by April next year.
“By March, or April next year, we will have a firm startup law in Kenya, which will assist many of our innovators de-risk their innovations and turn them into businesses,” he said.
The Startup Bill which has been in the works since 2021 seeks to govern the interactions between the government, incubators, start-ups, and investors. Registered startups will receive incentives such as tax breaks and access to credit, a move that is expected to boost innovation and job creation in the country with a large population of unemployed youths.
‘’The youth continue to sustain innovation in our economy, with youth-driven startups securing $700 million last year, making Kenya a top African investment hub. The youth are also the overwhelming majority of the millions of unemployed Kenyans who are relying on our Plan to unlock employment opportunities. ‘’ the president said.
‘’As a young nation with a vision of an economically secure posterity, we have no choice except to recognize innovation as a highly promising instrument for unlocking the doors of unprecedented opportunity,’’ he added.
When the bill finally becomes law, Startups will further gain access to much-needed resources, including funding, mentorship, and training.
At the same time, the president revealed that the Kenya National Innovations Agency was coordinating the establishment of the Kenya Entrepreneurship Programme. The programme aims to mobilize $3 million to enable local startups to scale up and attract investors.
‘’Our commitment to promote innovation seamlessly integrates the provision of ICT infrastructures, comprehensive education, skills and capacity development, policy and institutional interventions and the mobilization of diverse stakeholders in pursuing our ambitious strategy to transform Kenya into a globally competitive knowledge-based economy driven by innovation.’’ the president added.