In a report by TechHive and Ikigai, the Nigeria Startup Bill was compared to the other four startup legislations in Africa (Senegal, Tunisia, Ethiopia and Kenya) with relation to their scope, label and governance, incentives and enforcement.

The report revealed that while countries across Africa are taking the initiative to produce legislation that will positively impact the Startup space, the proposed Nigeria Startup Bill seems to be taking the lead by addressing the highest number of the issues faced by startups.

The first comparison begins with the scopes of the different laws/ bills. All Startup laws in the 5 countries are created to promote creative, innovative, and tech-enabled businesses. However, while all laws are applied at both national and international levels, only the Kenyan startup bill includes application at the county level. On the other hand, the Nigeria Startup Bill and the Ethiopian Startup Proclamation do not expressly state its territorial application.

The second area of comparison, Accountability and Governance, revealed that all five startup legislations require Startups to register with the relevant supervisory body and promote ease of doing business. Nevertheless, only Nigeria and Kenya’s Startup Bills provided the appointment of a Registrar of Startups and the establishment of incubation programmes. 

Furthermore, TechHive analysed all five legislations based on their incentives such as tax relief, guarantees for obtaining credit, right to paid vacation, government support, access to private and public support/funding, implementation of capacity building measures, and facilitating the grant/ revocation of patents. 

The report shows that Tunisia and Nigeria’s Startup Bills ticked 8 out of these 9 provisions while Senegal ticked 7, Ethiopia 6, and Kenya only 5. The Nigeria Startup Bill goes further to provide a pioneer status incentive scheme, which offers discounted prices on incorporation and registration of intellectual property.

The fourth and last benchmark focused on Enforcement. All five startup legislation made provisions for supervisory bodies responsible for championing the growth of Startups, with Nigeria’s being the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). 

Also, the Kenyan and Ethiopian Startup Bills, unlike Tunisia’s, Senegal’s and Nigeria’s legislations, do not have any provision for withdrawal of label/mark from startups that don’t meet the criteria.

A key takeaway from this report is that the Nigeria Startup Bill is a historic step for not only Nigeria, but Africa as a whole and it needs the support of every citizen. You can join in making it a reality by engaging your representatives at the National level and creating awareness at the state level to ensure that the bill works for all.

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