Dutch Embassy signs MoU to support start-ups in Tanzania

Wednesday October 14 2020

 

By By Josephine Christopher @JocfineQ jchristopher@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. Tanzania Startup Association (TSA) and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Tanzania have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support a conducive legal and regulatory business environment for the growth of the Tanzanian startup ecosystem.

Speaking during the signing event yesterday TSA’s Chief Executive Officer Mr Zahoro Muhaji said the partnership will last for two years and it would involve training, policy advocacy, and coordination of easy access to finance.

However, he did not disclose the specific amount that the two parties agreed to support their cause.

“We are currently witnessing a growing momentum on the continent on adopting start-up acts and policies. Mauritius, Tunisia and Senegal are the first African countries to have enacted specific startup laws,” he said.

Mr Muhaji added: We would like to seize this momentum, as there also has been a growing interest in start-ups as a solution to Tanzania’s growing youth unemployment.

In Tanzania, growth of start-ups investments have been challenged by limited access to funds, limited business skills, and the limited knowledge of statutory requirements.

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Other challenges according to TSA, include the regulatory framework which continues to be a major bottleneck to a flourishing Tanzania startup ecosystem.

The Dutch envoy Jeroen Verheul said his government has successfully created and advocated vibrant, open and business friendly ecosystems for startups.

Worldwide, Netherlands ranked 5th in the 2020 Global Innovation Index, being a home to more than 4, 000 incubators.

“Our goal is not only to strengthen our own ecosystem but to also strengthen startup ecosystems beyond borders including supporting a conducive legal and regulatory business environment for the growth of the Tanzanian startup ecosystem,” said Ambassador Verheul.

He said that a co-created and tailor-made Tanzanian Startup Act could be one of the tools for empowering entrepreneurs and addressing key developmental issues, although case studies from other African countries show that it will require prolonged and widespread engagement with various stakeholders.