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Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship, a program by MIT, has announced 10 startups from Africa that will be in its 2018 finalists of the Zambezi Prize for Innovation in Financial Inclusion.

The program is being co-hosted by the MasterCard Foundation, and the participants stand a chance to walk home with $200,000 in prizes.

Ali Diallo, a Global Programs Manager of the MIT Legatum Center, had the following to say: “The finalists demonstrated strong leadership and innovation in the way they are solving financial inclusion challenges. We also want to thank the hundreds of great startups that applied to this competition and shared with us their inspiring ventures, visions, and insights for advancing financial inclusion. We hope to keep them all engaged through our upcoming initiatives.”

The 10 African startups that made the cut to the 2018 Zambezi Prize for Innovation in Financial Inclusion are as follows:

Country Startup
Kenya Apollo Agriculture
Kenya Bidhaa Sasa
Kenya FarmDrive
Ghana Farmerline
South Africa LanteOTC
Senegal MaTontine
Ghana OZE
Nigeria RecylclePoints
Kenya Tulaa
South Africa Wala


Georgina Campbell Flatter, the Executive Director of the MIT Legatum Center, said, “We are pleased to welcome the 2018 finalists into the MIT Zambezi family. They represent some of the world’s most innovative change agents.”

The finalists will now move ahead to join MIT and Africa tech ecosystem on August 28-29. This event will be at the 2018 MIT Open Mic Africa summit, in Kenya’s capital Nairobi. In those two days, the participating startups will get a VIP reception after the main award ceremony that will take place at the Strathmore University.

The overall winner will walk home with $100,000. First and second runners-up will each get $30,000, and the remaining seven will get $5,000 each in cash prizes. Legatum Center will also award $5,000 to an African startup that has demonstrated great leadership quality in as far as unifying the African tech ecosystem is concerned.

All the participating startups will get a chance to take part in a mentorship program with MIT leaders and other Zambezi alumni companies at the event.

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