June 21, 2024
Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja Claims Credit for Nigeria's Startup Act

Nairobi, October 4, 2023 – Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja has recently claimed to be the chief architect behind Nigeria’s groundbreaking Startup Act. Governor Sakaja, who asserts that he played a pivotal role in drafting the legislation during his tenure as a Senator in Nairobi, made these revelations during a speech at the inauguration of the Amazon Web Services Development Center on Wednesday.

In his address, Governor Sakaja highlighted that, as a Senator, he initiated legislation aimed at safeguarding Kenyan startups from inherent risks within the tech ecosystem. Though the bill didn’t materialize due to various challenges, he suggested that some members of his team, who happened to be Nigerians, took the concept back to their homeland, where it was eventually enacted into law.

“In the Senate, I collaborated closely with pioneering Kenyan startups such as Twiga, Cellulant, and Sendy, which were on the verge of becoming our nation’s first tech unicorn. We explored innovative ways for the government to support their growth, and thus, the startup bill was conceived,” he stated. “Regrettably, a few members of my team were from Nigeria, and they transported the bill to Nigeria, where it was passed. As a result, Nigeria now has a Startup Act crafted by the Governor of Nairobi, while we in Kenya are still without a startup legislation.”

Governor Sakaja expressed his determination to resurrect the efforts to pass a similar bill in Kenya. He confirmed that discussions are already underway with the Co-operatives and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Cabinet Secretary, Simon Chelugui. The Governor underscored Kenya’s potential to compete on a global scale and emphasized the need for incentives to promote rapid growth of companies and the establishment of a virtual special economic zone to stimulate job creation.

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It’s important to note that the Nigeria Startup Act was signed into law by former President Muhammadu Buhari on October 19, 2022. This legislation was designed to adapt Nigeria’s legal framework to the needs of the tech ecosystem, with a focus on attracting and safeguarding investments in tech startups.

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja’s claims regarding his role in shaping Nigeria’s Startup Act have stirred significant interest and discussions within the tech and legislative communities. Kenya’s efforts to enact a similar law to bolster its startup ecosystem will undoubtedly be closely watched.

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