Innovative startups play a key role in the development of nations based on a self-paced model and resource. Such startups focus on specific problems and provide innovative solutions circumventing the problem’s context, demographics, and economic values.
So, how do we create a favorable tech startup ecosystem in Ethiopia?
1. National/regional policies and regulations should be supportive enough and ready to be redefined if required to entertain any innovation. For instance, current financial/banking regulations are too narrow to contemplate new ideas.
2. Trading and licensing regulations are too complicated. I should be able to start a company right from my home without the need to get a one year or beyond house rent which is usually extremely costly for startups. Besides, visiting five or more government offices to just get a single license is not only awkward but also doesn’t go with any techies mindset.
3. The social business mentality setup which primarily is for brick-and-mortar or the non value adding groceries or bars is too immersive and there should be some sort of paradigm shift where business is not all about making money only. Its all about Value addition.
4. Access to basic IT infrastructure such as Internet, Data center resources (storage, server, services, etc), and uninterruptible electricity give a good fit for ideas to be implemented. Establishing a national IT infrastructure will create favorable opportunities for hundreds or thousands of startups which can be a good hit for the regional economy.
5. Inventions and innovations should be legally protected through proper copyright and Intellectual Property (IP) laws.