Follow

Sakaja’s bill poised to drive innovation, create jobs

By Hesbon Owilla
Sunday, October 18th, 2020
Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja whose Startup Bill seeks to provide a framework to encourage growth and innovations in the business. Photo/PD/JOHN OCHIENG
In summary

The Kenyan Parliament has recently published the Start-up Bill 2020. The bill published in the Kenya Gazette and sponsored by the Nairobi County Senator, Johnson Sakaja aims to encourage the creation of new businesses for local and foreign investors. 

The bill, if passed will provide: incentives for start-ups, the protection of intellectual property, research and development support and other fiscal and non-fiscal support for Start-ups that will be a part of the incubation programmes could have come at an opportune time. 

One unique and probably cutting edge element character of the Kenyan youth is the fact majority have good education and are fairly industrious.

But scarcity of jobs and a myriad of challenges, the road to wealth creation today seem to be through solving current problems in innovative ways and reaping the benefits of cashing in from these solutions to problems.

Granted, the fourth industrial revolution has come with a lot of disruptions and opportunities in equal measure.

The struggle to adapt and leverage on technology, in a world where we are living with the stark reality of driver less cars and robots writing newspaper articles, calls for an enabling environment. 

There is a lot to solving current problems and what many people seem not to understand is that solutions lie not in technology, but an understanding of societal problems and how tech can solve these problems. 

There are elite graduates from our colleges and universities seem to have figured this out and what seems to be lacking is an enabling environment.

Senator Sakaja’s bill on startups, especially on research and development and the incubation support is a cornerstone.

With a blooming tech community and Innovation and start up hubs in Kenya, a solid corner stone anchored in law is a clincher. 

From IHUB to The Aga Khan University’s Media Innovation Centre at The Graduate School of Media and Communications Kenyans have brilliant ideas targeting different societal problems challenges.

This week for instance, the Media Innovation Centre had to extend the call for applications for its second cohort of innovators in Residence by 24 hours dues to demand from the target community of media innovators. 

The overwhelming response from Kenyans, Ugandans and Tanzanians speaks of a galaxy of brilliant ideas. Granted, not all of them, 250 plus, will not get to residency, but the MIC offers membership to the community of media innovators and with all the applicants will have access to quality trainings and boot camps that will nurture their ideas into viable businesses. 

You see, most people are apprehensive of sharing their ideas, but the MIC model does not just give you a platform to win the grant and one-year residency, but also affords you the opportunity to join the community and be part of the journey to turn your idea into a big enterprise. 

However, with the massive applications and communities built around the hubs and innovation centres, seed capital is a major boost in building these ideas into viable ventures and Sakaja’s bill is well poised to fill into the gap.

You see, great leaders identify opportunities to make the society a better place even as they address the plight of the people.

Senator Sakaja has probably identified a pathway to addressing unemployment and at the same time spurring economic growth.

Good leadership also understand that if it is a great policy, it needs a legal framework to make it enforceable. 

No society has moved people out poverty through political handouts, but good leaders in prosperous societies have built systems that enable their people find solutions to problems. [email protected]

ADVERTISEMENT