Africa must create favourable regulations for tech innovators to thrive

The Reverend Julian Kyula, a Kenyan FinTech Entrepreneur, has urged African governments to create a conducive environment that allows innovators, creators and entrepreneurs to thrive.

He said that would ensure African countries benefited from the ongoing fourth industrial revolution and address its numerous challenges.

Rev Kyula gave the advice in an interview with the media when he delivered the 5th Public Lecture organised by the Sundoulos Advanced Leadership Training (SALT) Institute and the Intercessors for Africa, in Accra, over the weekend.

The lecture was on the theme: ‘Technology and Transformation- The Fourth Industrial Revolution and its significance for Africa’s Transformation’.

Rev Kyula noted that a number of African technology innovators had been compelled to relocate from the continent to various parts of the world due to unfavorable working environment, indicating that, the continent was losing millions of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to other countries.

‘A lot of people are moving their companies to markets that are welcoming them because of preferential tax treatment, citizenship. They’re being allowed to change their citizenship and get dual citizenship in another country.

‘… Can you imagine if Twitter or if Elon Musk came from Ghana, and had to leave Ghana to go set up elsewhere? He’s holding four or three of Ghana’s GDP,’ he bemoaned.

‘Why should we lose an individual who could completely change the tax bracket of an entire nation? We must encourage those people who are going to come. The next Elon Musks are from Africa. The governments must catch up and make sure those Elon Musks are not going elsewhere.’

Rev Kyula who is the Founder of EDOMx and Kyula Capital, identified poor government regulations in Africa as a major factor contributing to the mass exodus of local innovations and called on them to create policies and legislations that enabled innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship to thrive.

‘Usually, regulation can slow down entrepreneurship,’ he said, stressing: ‘We need to collaborate and have conversations that enable us to see governments come to the table, to the drawing table around creating policy and legislation that enables innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship and not stifling it.

‘The laws need to be reviewed, to make sure they’re not chasing skills out of the country…’

Rev Kyula urged innovators not to be deterred by those obstacles and encouraged them to consider exploring other external opportunities to grow.

Also, he urged partnership among local tech developers and entrepreneurs to enable them to overcome obstacles within the sector and develop beyond their boarders.

Apostle Eric Opoku Onyinah, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National Cathedral Project, who was a discussant at the lecture, said ‘outmoded’ cultural practices must give way to modern technologies to ensure Ghana was not left out in the fourth industrial revolution.

‘Sometimes, we defend our culture too much, but some of the practices within the culture are archaic,’ he said.

‘Look at our chieftaincy, do you still want to carry people in a palanquin whereas we have vehicles and other things?

‘We must begin to change some of these things otherwise, we cannot grow. We will keep on marking time.’

He emphasised on the need to train people who would be able to ‘catch the time’ and meet the fast growing pace of technology to spur the country’s development.

Apostle Onyinah also urged local entrepreneurs to ‘think differently’ to stand out globally.

Source: Ghana News Agency