10 African startups selected as finalists in 2018 edition of the Zambezi Prize

MIT 10The Legatum Centre for Development and Entrepreneurship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation, has announced the finalists of the 2018 edition of the Zambezi Prize for Innovation in Financial Inclusion

The competition, awarding a total of US$200,000 in prizes, was established in 2015 to discover Africa’s most promising and innovative early-stage start-ups that promote and advance financial inclusion on the continent.

The selected companies are Apollo Agriculture (Kenya), Bidhaa Sasa (Kenya), FarmDrive (Kenya), Farmerline (Ghana), LanteOTC (South Africa), MaTontine (Senegal), OZE (Ghana), RecyclePoints (Nigeria), Tulaa (Kenya) and Wala (South Africa).

“The finalists demonstrated strong leadership and innovation in the way they are solving financial inclusion challenges,” said Ali Diallo, global programmes manager of the MIT Legatum Centre.

The finalists will join leaders from the MIT and African tech ecosystems on from 28-29 August at the 2018 MIT Open Mic Africa Summit in Nairobi, Kenya. The two-day event will include an award ceremony at Strathmore University where the Grand Prize Winner will be awarded US$100,000. Two runners-up will each receive US$30,000 while the seven remaining finalists will each receive US$5,000 in cash prizes.

Additionally, the Legatum Centre will award US$5,000 to an African entrepreneur who demonstrated great leadership qualities to unify Africa’s tech ecosystem. All finalists will participate in cohort-building and mentoring activities with MIT leaders and Zambezi alumni companies during the event.

The Zambezi Prize and the Open Mic Africa tour aim to leverage MIT’s ecosystem to improve lives through principled entrepreneurial leadership. The Legatum Centre’s Africa strategy is also a core component of the MIT-Africa initiative which encompasses the Institute’s global priority for collaboration with the continent.

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