Rwanda: Concrete steps towards the adoption of a Startup Act

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An action that follows in the footsteps of Tunisia and most recently Senegal (both of which have adopted similar legislation). The Rwandan government has called upon Innovation for Policy Foundation (i4Policy); the same organisation that was instrumental to the feat achieved in both Tunisia and Senegal to work with them towards making this a reality.

The i4Policy has been tasked with drafting a national Startup Act and it’s hoped that this will accelerate the development of Rwanda’s fledgling tech startup ecosystem.

Although Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, ranks in the top 6 of the newest Global Startup Ecosystem Rankings Report by StartupBlink (an analysis of startup ecosystems in 1,000 cities and 100 countries), the country’s tech startup ecosystem is not nearly as connected, robust, and funded as top startup scenes in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa. Nor is it as attractive, yet. This move therefore, will definitely bring to the table greater results in this direction.

It is not new to anyone Rwanda’s strive to build a stronger tech ecosystem and make use of more technology in improving their processes. This, has been made evident since the outbreak of the pandemic where we saw Rwanda making use of drones and robots to reduce human to human contact. A move though that has proven to be very instrumental.

Viewed as one of the most supported ecosystems at the moment, this move move is definitely another step in the right direction. In fact, a recent study sponsored by Credit Suisse and Swisscontact found that, Kigali has one of the highest densities of Entrepreneurial Support Organisations (ESOs) globally. With currently over 20 ESOs in Kigali alone, with spaces like Impact Hub, kLab, and  Westerwelle Startup Haus and many others, there is no doubt Rwanda has set out on the path to disruption.

According to Endeavor, “This makes Kigali one of the most heavily supported entrepreneurship communities in the world. In contrast, Nairobi, East Africa’s most advanced ecosystem, had one ESO for every 32 startups in 2016″

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