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Startups : Morocco behind the leaders in Africa

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Startups : Morocco behind the leaders in Africa

In 2023, Morocco faces challenges in the startup sector, attracting only 17 million USD in funding. This amount, compared to African leaders like Kenya, Egypt, and South Africa, highlights a significant lag. These countries have benefited from more developed ecosystems and environments conducive to innovation.

Morocco’s lag in startup funding

Morocco is experiencing a tough year for its entrepreneurial ecosystem. According to the annual report « Africa : The Big Deal », the kingdom attracts only 17 million USD in funding, representing just 0.4 % of the continental total. This amount places Morocco far behind African heavyweights like Kenya, Egypt, and South Africa, which capture 87 % of the 3.2 billion USD raised by startups in Africa this year.

Contrasting performance with African leaders

Kenya, in East Africa, continually demonstrates its economic potential through its numerous tech-oriented startups. Meanwhile, in North Africa, Egypt stands out as a pioneer in entrepreneurship. Below is an overview of the various leading countries in the African economy.

Kenya : Undisputed leader

Kenya raises an impressive 800 million USD in 2023. Innovative companies like M-Pesa, the mobile payment platform, and Twiga Foods, the agricultural distribution platform, are key drivers of this success.

Egypt : Rising entrepreneurship

Egypt attracts 640 million USD. Startups like Swvl, the public transport service, and Vezeeta, the medical appointment booking platform, significantly contribute to the country’s entrepreneurial dynamism.

South Africa : Sectoral diversity

South Africa raises 600 million USD due to its sectoral diversity. Startups such as Jumo, the financial services platform, SweepSouth, the home services platform, and Aerobotics, specializing in precision agriculture, play major roles.

Obstacles to startup development in Morocco

Obstacles to the growth of startups in Africa stem from various structural, economic, and environmental factors. In Morocco, the primary obstacles are :

Lack of adequate funding

Despite government efforts, including the law on innovative companies and the Innov Invest fund, Morocco fails to create an environment conducive to startup growth. The lack of suitable funding remains a major hindrance.

Administrative and fiscal complexity

The complexity of administrative and fiscal procedures poses a significant obstacle for Moroccan entrepreneurs, making startup creation and growth difficult.

Shortage of qualified talent

Morocco suffers from a shortage of qualified talent, essential for developing a dynamic tech ecosystem. Training and attracting talent remain critical challenges.

Necessary initiatives to catch up

  • Strengthening the regulatory framework : Stimulate innovation and simplify administrative procedures.
  • Easier access to funding : Diversify and facilitate access to funds, encourage public-private partnerships, and promote crowdfunding.
  • Skills development : Invest in education and training for young talents in information technology and innovation.

Morocco has a long way to go to catch up with African leaders in the startup sector. However, with targeted strategic actions and strong political will, Morocco can transform these challenges into economic opportunities. Africa remains a continent with promising prospects for startups, and Morocco must seize these opportunities to position itself favorably within the African entrepreneurial ecosystem.

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