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Oct 2, 2020
1 hour ago Nine (9) African startups have emerged as finalists for the €10,000 Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL) 2020 Innovating Justice Challenge. The startups pitched their innovative justice solutions at a live virtual event organised by HiiL. Themed “Social Impact Unicorn: Myth or Possibility,” the event was moderated by Kanan Dhru, Community Manager HiiL Justice. HiiL tries to make justice accessible. We support and accelerate innovative justice enterprises. We do this through an accelerator programme that includes training, mentorship, a grant as well as opportunities for networking. Iran Huffels, HiiL Justice Accelerator Programme Manager The finalists included seven (7) tech startups from Nigeria and two (2) startups from Ghana. These startups are involved in driving social justice reforms ranging from getting quick help during an emergency to ending rape and sexual violence across Africa. The 7 Nigerian startups which made it to the finals are – Aabo, Curacel, donate-ng, iVerify, Judy, Mamamoni, and Stand to End Rape Initiative (STER). Nocofio and TransGov represented Ghana at the finals. Having supported over 110 startups worldwide since 2011, HiiL selected the nine African startups out of hundreds of applications received. In attendance at the kickoff event were Innocent Chukwuma, Director of Ford Foundation West Africa and The Chrysalis Capital Founder, Nicole Yembra. Funkola Odeleye, Co-founder DIYlaw hosted the theme conversation. About the Finalists Founded by Victor Idongesit and Sylva Elendu, Aabo is a Nigerian emergency startup which reports emergencies to individuals and agencies that can help within just seconds. The startup works mostly with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to render quick emergency response. People can request for emergency assistance through its Aabo mobile app. “Our goal is to make everybody feel safe and get help when they need it,” Victor said. Curacel is a Nigerian health insurance tech startup which offers an AI-based claims processing and fraud detection platform. Curacel was founded by Henry Mascot. Henry Mascot, CEO Curacel The startup says it has worked with over 500 hospitals and 6 insurance companies so far to help people optimise their claims process and reduce pay-outs to fraudulent claims. Another Nigerian startup, donate-ng enables fundraising from donors worldwide for charitable causes through its fraud-free crowdfunding platform. The startup was co-founded in 2015 by Olakunle Olayinka, Segun Olojo-Kosoko, Ayodele Amusa and Aheeb Afeez. Segun says the company has raised over N82 million to impact more than 69,000 individuals to date. iVerify is a Nigerian verification service platform that was created by Zita Agwunobi to enable people to verify documents, data, property and other information. Judy is a Nigerian legal tech co-founded in 2018 by Bright Oleka, Sadiq Okocha and Charles Thompson. The platform contains a comprehensive database of over 30,000 cases, statutes and rules of court from Nigeria and Ghana. Bright stated that the legal tech seeks to provide people with easy access to an extensive database of common law. Mamamoni is a Nigerian fintech startup founded by Nkem Okocha to provide mobile loans and vocational training to empower women in rural and low-income urban areas. These women can access affordable loans to restart their businesses post-COVID-19 through the Mamamoni web platform. “For women without any source of income, we empower them with skills to generate income,” Nkem said. STER is a Nigerian social enterprise startup founded by Oluwaseun Osowobi to advocate against sexual violence and provide pro bono legal and psychosocial support services to survivors. Currently operating in 16 Nigerian states, STER has handled up to 510 sexual assault and gender-based violence cases since 2014. In 2018, Akwasi Tagoe founded Nocofio, a Ghanaian agritech that connects small scale farmers to financing and marketing opportunities. Akwasi Tagoe, CEO Nocofio According to Akwasi. Nocofio has funded and trained over 6,500 farmers in Ghana since its inception. Ghanaian social justice startup, TransGov was founded in 2015 by Jerry Akanyi-King, Kennedy Anyinatoe, Kwame Yeboah and Prince Anim. The platform gives citizens access to archives of user-friendly data on the state of various development projects in Ghana. People can also contribute to any of the several projects listed on the TransGov platform. Jerry stated that the startup has worked on over 105 projects so far. Summary While speaking at the event, Innocent Chukwuma, Director of Ford Foundation West Africa, said: “I’m quite impressed with the presentations I watched today. The startups should keep honing their skills. All the pitching solutions they made are really needed out there.” The winning startups will be announced at a later date and join the 4-month HiiL Justice Accelerator Programme as well as receive €10,000 in non-equity funding. If you’d like to get featured on our Entrepreneur Spotlight, click here to share your startup story with us. SUBSCRIBE Get latest Technology news, reviews, business-related content with a deliberate emphasis on the African narrative and insightful analysis in Nigeria – straight to your inbox.