TechInAfrica – CAMBRIDGE, United States of America, August 8, 2018/ — Today, MIT Legatum (http://Legatum.MIT.edu/) and the Mastercard Foundation (http://MastercardFdn.org/) announced the finalists of the Zambezi Prize 2018 (http://Zambezi.MIT.edu/) for category of Innovation in Financial Inclusion. The total prize for the competition is $200,000. It was first found in 2015 to search for most promising start-ups of Africa continent. Furthermore, it is also to support financial inclusion on the continent.
The start-up companies which has been chosen are Wala (https://getWala.com/) from South Africa, Tulaa (www.Tulaa.io) from Kenya, RecyclePoints (www.RecyclePoints.com/) from Nigeria, OZE (www.OZE.guru/) from Ghana, MaTontine (ControlRisks.com) from Senegel, LanteOTC (https://LanteOTC.com/) from South Africa, Farmeline from Ghana, FarmDrive (https://FarmdDrive.co.ke/) from Kenya, Bidhaa Sasa (www.Bidhaa.co.ke/) from Kenya, and ApolloAgriculture (https://ApolloAgriculture.com/) also from Kenya.
The Executive Director of the MIT Legatum Center, Georgina Campbell Flatter stated: “We are delightfully welcome the finalists as parts of our MIT Zambezi family”. She also added, “They are representatives of most innovative change agents of the world.”
The Global Programs Managers of the MIT Legatum Center, Ali Diallo said: “These finalists showed their strong leadership skill and innovation which solves financial inclusion challenges”. He also added, “Thanks to the hundreds of other start-up companies that signed up for the competition and shared their inspiring visions, opinions, and ventures to strengthen financial inclusion.
These selected finalist will be joining MIT leaders and African tech ecosystems at the MIT Open Mic Africa Summit in Nairobi, Kenya on August 28th and August 29th. The event will be followed by the award ceremony at Strathmore University. The Grand Prize Winner will receive $100,000, each runner-up will get $30,000, and the remaining finalists will receive $5,000 in cash. An African entrepreneur will also receive $5,000 by Legatum Center due to its excellent leadership skills in the Africa’s tech environment. During the event, the finalists will also be given a chance to join mentoring activities as well as cohort-building with the leaders from MIT and Zambezi alumni companies.
During the MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge (IIC) gala (www.MITInclusiveInnovation.com, the winners will join the Zambezi boot camp on November 5th to November 9th, 2018 at MIT campus in Boston, the United States. The IIC will track the finalists to find the winners who will get funded up to $1 million. This event is also part of the MIT Initiative on Digital Economy (http://ide.mit.edu/) and the initiatives of MIT Legatum Center as to exemplify its global commitment to the future of work (https://goo.gl/t6QRFb).
The previous finalists including PlusPeople (www.PlusPeople.co.ke/), Kifiya (www.Kifiya.com/), Tugende (www.goTugende.com/) , MFS Africa (http://MFSAfrica.com/), Nomanini (www.Nomanini.com/), Chamasoft (https://Chamasoft.com/), FirstAccess (www.Firstaccess.co/), AgriLife, Mchanga (http://Changa.co.k), and Mjara (www.Mjara.com/en/index.html). Umati Capital (https://UmatiCapital.com/) received funding from Lundin Foundation and Accion Venture Lab, Blue Haven Initiative as The Grand Prize Winner among many others start-ups. We want to keep them engaged in the upcoming initiatives”.
Both the Zambezi Prize as well as the Open Mic Africa tour are not only the main foundation of the Legatum Center’s Africa Strategy as the global vision to improve MIT’s ecosystem using entrepreneurial leadership, but also a main component of the MIT-Africa initiative (https://Africa.MIT.edu/) which embraces the Institute’s global priority (https://goo.gl/uoKHDd) to conjoin with the continent.