Patrick Muhire (centre) co-founder of VugaPay App among top ten young ICT entrepreneurs announced in Abidjan, Ivory Coast

Two young Rwandan entrepreneurs in money transfer already making headlines in local media have again attracted attention of international companies.

Patrick Muhire and Cedric Muhoza co-founders of VugaPay money transfer platform among ten African young innovators in the third Startup Challenge Africa.

The competition was organized by SWIFT, a global leading provider of secure financial messaging service.

SWIFT services connect more than 11,000 banking and securities, organisations, markets, infrastructures and corporate customers in more than 200 countries and territories.

Top ten young ICT entrepreneurs were announced in Abidjan, Ivory Coast yesterday – May 17, 2017 during SWIFT’s African Regional Conference.

The ten finalists that were announced pitched their projects and participants at SWIFT conference voted for the three best startups who will be invited to SWIFT’s annual global financial services conference (sibos).

The conference will take place from 16-19 October 2017, in Toronto, Canada.

Besides Vuga Pay from Rwanda, two other winners are; IroFit Technologies (Nigeria) and Sokowatch (Kenya).

“We have come on top. We feel so encouraged to continue our payment App. We have got new partners from the event which will help us to launch in many more African markets,” Patrick Muhire told KT Press shortly after the event.

The three finalists will have an opportunity to share the stage with Financial Technology (FinTech) experts, providing great insights on innovation happening in Africa to the financial industry at large. They will also receive a 10,000 USD cash prize each.

The wining projects were selected thanks to their potential to provide an important innovation to the future of the financial industry.

Organisers of the event said that the Startup Challenge is an enriching experience for all participating companies to benefit from expert mentoring and get exposure to financial institutions.

“It is a pleasure for us to see the number of African startups applying to our program growing year after year. Their caliber continues to impress, and there is no doubt they are going to play an important role in shaping the future of finance,” says Fabian Vandenreydt, Global Head of Securities Markets at SWIFT.

Meanwhile, VugaPay developers rose to fame in 2015 after pitching their project in front of global investors during the Transform Africa in Kigali. Their project attracted some of them who would buy shares.

The Start-up Challenge Africa competition comes barely a week after the first Ever MissGeek Africa.

An initiative from Rwanda which was extended to Africa, Miss Geek is a competition designed to inspire African girls to be part of solving the continent’s challenges using technology and encourage them to choose a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Ruth Njeri Waiganjo from Kenya was nominated in Kigali during the 2017Transform Africa Summit (TAS 2017) which focused on recognizing innovative Africa talent in ICT. Two runners – up hail from Rwanda.

The competition is set to be an annual continental event.




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