Business Edge | Nigeria Proposes Legislation for Startup Ecosystem

For the longest time, tech businesses have been perceived as only possible and happening in developed countries. Understandably, the data shows that hubs such as Silicon Valley, Boston and New York in the United States, London in the UK and Hong Kong in Asia are in a league of their own, owing to the prevalence of venture capitalist investment available to tech-driven businesses.  However, new waves of tech entrepreneurship are spreading beyond those hubs into Africa. For example, the startup ecosystem in Nigeria and Kenya for example is thriving, with a couple of unicorn companies growing from there. This is comparatively, a tiny piece in the global picture, but for these African countries, a remarkable feat. Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has recently sent a startup bill to the National Assembly. For the final edition of Business Edge this week, Tolulope Adeleru-Balogun examines the proposed legislation for the startup ecosystem in Nigeria. Her guest is Nosike Nwigene, a communications specialist working on the startup bill.

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Whilst it appears that there hasn’t been a deliberate push by the government to elevate the startup ecosystem, the influx of investment has made it expedient to support it and create environments for startups to thrive in. “Ongoing investment in digital infrastructure and mobile internet penetration provides a market for tech solutions,” Nosike says. These and related factors are what has made the startup bill important for the government to draft and for the ecosystem itself to be a part of it.

The conversation also includes the importance of the startup bill coming particularly at this time, concerns of what format the regulation and framework the legislation is likely to take and many more. “Africa’s startups raised $5 billion last year. Nigeria alone accounts for $1 billion of that. It simply makes sense for the government to bet on this growth,” Nosike Nwigene adds.

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You can watch the full edition of Business Edge above.


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