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Kenya startup bill expected to pass, Burkina Faso drafts cybersecurity law

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Two African countries are making strides toward advancing their information and communications technology (ICT) goals.

Firstly, Kenya has announced that its Startup Bill 2022 is expected to become law in 2024. Secondly, Burkina Faso has given the green light to a report outlining a draft law addressing cybersecurity.

Kenya's President William Ruto, during the country's Innovation Week, predicted that the Startup Bill 2022 will become law in 2024.

"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," Ruto said.

Initially introduced in the Senate in 2021, and after receiving its first reading earlier this year, the Startup Bill 2022 is still under discussion in the Senate.

If passed, the Startup Bill is expected to help Kenyan startups grow and enjoy tax breaks as well as a credit scheme for startup financing.

Furthermore, once enacted, the bill will establish a comprehensive legal framework designed to bolster technological growth, foster innovation, and attract both talent and capital.

Other African countries have enacted the Startup Act: Tunisia was the first country to adopt one in 2018, followed by Senegal in 2019 and Nigeria in 2022.

Kenya's expected passage of the bill follows the country's president inviting American technology companies to set up manufacturing operations and regional offices in his country in September 2023.

That invite was followed by the country opening a local device assembly factory, with the capacity to produce up to 3 million mobile phone units annually, earlier this month.

Burkina Faso greenlights cybersecurity draft law

Meanwhile, in the West African country of Burkina Faso, the military government has given the green light to a report outlining a draft law addressing cybersecurity.

According to Ecofin Agency, the Burkinabe military government said during a cabinet meeting that the move is aimed at establishing a solid legal and regulatory framework that can safeguard the country's information systems.

The draft law is set to undergo an approval process in the country's Transitional Legislative Assembly.

The cybersecurity draft law will be aimed at establishing a solid legal and regulatory framework that can safeguard the country's information systems.   (Source: www.slon.pics on Freepik)
The cybersecurity draft law will be aimed at establishing a solid legal and regulatory framework that can safeguard the country's information systems.
(Source: www.slon.pics on Freepik)

The draft law will not only address traditional security concerns but also align its strategies with the need to secure the country's cyberspace.

The cybersecurity draft law has always been part of the Burkinabe government's priorities, so much so that the government created the National Agency for Information Systems Security (ANSSI) in November 2013.

ANSSI plays a role in the nation's cybersecurity by managing its information system security incidents.

In July this year, ANSSI was placed under the supervision of the country's Ministry of Digital Transition, Posts, and Electronic Communications.

Placing it under the ministry will enhance the agency's operational efficiency and foster seamless collaboration with other critical stakeholders within Burkina Faso's dynamic digital ecosystem.

The government's stance on cybersecurity aids the Internet Society and Meta's partnership aimed at developing local Internet ecosystems and strengthening cross-border interconnections through the development of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs).

It will be interesting to see how the draft bill is received, as the country has been going through a lot of changes since Junta Military seized power in September 2022.

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*Top image source: Racool_studio on Freepik.

Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

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