Zambezi Prize For Financial Inclusion Finalists Announcement

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Zambezi Prize For Financial Inclusion Finalists Announcement

 

Mastercard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity participants Apollo Agriculture and Farmerline among finalists for the 2018 Zambezi Prize for Innovation in Financial Inclusion.

Apollo Agriculture (Kenya) and Farmerline (Ghana) have been selected as finalists for the 2018 Zambezi Prize for Innovation in Financial Inclusion announced by MIT Legatum Center and Mastercard Foundation. This is in recognition of their innovative approaches to supporting financial inclusion. The two agribusiness companies were shortlisted along with 8 other African start-ups for their innovative efforts in solving the financial inclusion challenge in Africa.

The Zambezi Prize for Innovation in Financial Inclusion was established in 2015 to discover and reward Africa’s most promising and innovative early-stage start-ups that promote and advance financial inclusion on the continent. The 2018 finalists will join leaders from the MIT and African tech ecosystems on August 28th and 29th at the 2018 MIT Open Mic Africa Summit in Nairobi, Kenya.

The two start-ups are participants in the Mastercard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity and their business projects were selected by the Fund for support in its 2017/2018 Rolling competition.

Apollo Agriculture’s project offers a customized package of farm inputs on credit. Apollo Agriculture on board’s farmers’ through digital channels and credit rates them leveraging high-resolution satellite imagery & behavioural, psychometric, and agronomic data. The company leverages technology to extend credit (Mobile Money) and training to farmers on best practices via automated voice calls (“IVR”). Apollo Agriculture’s low cost, low-touch model has the potential to scale rapidly to increase the incomes of millions of smallholders.

Photo credit: Apollo Agriculture

Farmerline’s “399 Services” project leverages innovative mobile technology to extend access to financial services, information, and high-quality input directly to farmers resulting in increased yields and incomes. Farmers just need to dial the USSD code “399” on any of the top mobile networks in Ghana to access the service. Farmerline presents the farmers with an opportunity to receive genuine and affordable Agri-input through credit or savings (lay –away), financial literacy content, climate-smart agricultural tips and weather forecasts, as well as weekly updates on market prices.

The Mastercard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity congratulates its Fund participants Apollo Agriculture and Farmerline on their selection as finalists for the 2018 Zambezi Prize for Innovation in Financial Inclusion.

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