🎙️ In the same week GITEX Africa Conference drew to a close in Marrakech, this month's episode takes us to Tunisia, speaking to Mariem Sellami, a founder and former program manager at Startup Tunisia to understand what it’s like running a venture in Tunisia. 🇹🇳

Like most nascent tech ecosystems, the government plays an important role in the Tunisian ecosystem, with legal frameworks like the Startup Act—passed in 2019—helping founders get indirect funding and promoting the ecosystem on a regional and international level. 

There are quite a few interesting things about the Tunisian ecosystem:

  • It has a strong technical skill base because tech and digital literacy skills are a key focus for the country. 
  • As a result, 47% of founders are engineers, while 13% hold PhDs in various disciplines. Its proximity to Europe has also been useful for exposing the country’s technical talent to gain experience and skills beyond its ecosystem. 
  • Remember InstaDeep, the Tunisian startup acquired for $549 million? Its success is spurring a new class of dreamers with similar dreams of groundbreaking startups that make outsized impact. 

So what kind of startups are springing up in Tunisia?

According to Sellami, the verticals that are seeing the most activity give insights into the country’s challenges.

“We see a lot of business software with a strong emphasis on digital transformation issues in the region, solutions that enhance productivity and streamline business operations that give traditional businesses a competitive edge in the region.”

“There are lots of successful businesses in health tech and a growing need for efficient and accessible healthcare; telemedicine, health data analysis. Anyone who visits Tunisia experiences traffic in urban areas, so mobility is one of the developing verticals. Challenges with hard infrastructure drive the need for innovative and fast solutions.”

That’s enough spoilers already. Listen and enjoy! - Olumuyiwa (Contributor and Writer, African Pre-seed Podcast).

💡 Top five insights unpacked in this episode: 

  • Making Tunisia a startup friendly nation [01:15]
  • Tunisia's startup ecosystem developments over the last 10 years [08:34]
  • Leveraging international culture diversity [09:06]
  • Factors driving innovations within the Tunisian tech ecosystem [11:28]
  • Addressing some oversimplifications and stigmas about entrepreneurship [15:20]


  • Connect with Mariem Sellami on LinkedIn

Tell us...

  • What was your favourite quote or lesson from this episode?
  • What topic would you like for us to feature on a future podcast?

Let us know via the hashtag: #AfricanPreseedPodcast