- Speaking during the signing ceremony, the ambassador of the Netherlands to Tanzania, Wiebe de Boer, said the pact will help press the government to set the stage for an enabling business environment
The Tanzania Startup Association (TSA) and the Netherlands Embassy have signed a two-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen the startup ecosystem in the country.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, the ambassador of the Netherlands to Tanzania, Wiebe de Boer, said the pact will help press the government to set the stage for an enabling business environment.
Startups in Tanzania are required to comply with several levies, taxes, and standards across multiple institutions, which often involves long and costly processes.
Given their low capacity, the majority of them are unable to comply and are thus at risk of severe penalties, which slows down their potential to grow, according to Mr De Boer.
However, all is not lost, thanks to President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s pro-business approach, which startups say is an indication of a better future.
Mr De Boer said; “The mutual goal of the MoU with TSA is to strengthen the startup ecosystem in Tanzania, which will be beneficial to Tanzania’s entrepreneurial sector.”
“We both see and acknowledge the challenges in Tanzania’s startup ecosystem and believe that a boost for solutions will be a startup policy in Tanzania,” he added.
Tanzania does not have a clearly defined policy or a legal and regulatory framework for startups.
Notably, the existing policy, legal and regulatory frameworks are designed to support Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs), particularly those characterised by ownership of physical assets.
This is opposed to startups, which are characterised by intangible assets such as patents, trademarks and copyright.
Since its inception in 2020, TSA and the Netherlands Embassy have been working together to find solutions to the problems the sector is facing.
In their previous cooperation, they conducted a comparative baseline study on startup acts that was launched in April 2022.
The study focused on presenting critical challenges influencing the business environment in Tanzania for startups and clear and feasible recommendations for policy and legislative reforms.
TSA chief executive Zahoro Muhaji commended the Netherlands Embassy for being at the forefront of advocating for a conducive business environment for start-ups.
Source: The Citizen