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Africa: Ecobank Group launches 2024 Fintech Challenge with Shs 190mln prize

LOME, June 8, 2024 – Ecobank Group which also operates in Uganda has launched the 2024 Fintech Challenge and is calling for applications from across Africa, according to a press release.

This annual competition invites early-stage and mature fintech startups and developers to partner with Ecobank, offering a grand prize of US$ 50,000 [about Shs 190 million] and a chance to scale their solutions across Ecobank’s extensive network spanning 35 African countries.

Despite the fintech eruption in the African continent, a McKinsey report reveals that fintech start-ups in Africa are still facing several challenges such as reaching scale, navigating an uncertain regulatory environment, or managing scarcity of funding.

The Ecobank Fintech Challenge provides a unique opportunity for Fintech Entrepreneurs to address these challenges by not only offering financial rewards but also providing Ecobank’s expertise in diversified markets operations and the right solutions to scale across its pan-African footprint and international presence such as France.

“Building partnerships with fintechs is a catalyst for driving financial inclusion in Africa. At Ecobank, we prioritize fintechs in our Growth, Transformation, and Returns strategy,” said Jeremy Awori, Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank Group.

He added: “We have enhanced this new edition of the Ecobank Fintech Challenge to continue to provide fintech entrepreneurs with a premier platform to showcase groundbreaking solutions, while creating unparalleled opportunities for growth and expansion across 35 markets in Africa.”

According to the Bank, last year’s competition attracted 1,490 entries of real quality, which underscores the significance of this pan-African challenge. “Successful applicants reaching the Grand Finale and Awards Ceremony in October 2024 will have the chance to join the highly coveted Ecobank Fintech Fellowship programme, with the overall winner receiving a cash prize of US$ 50,000.”

Ecobank Fintech Fellows will gain access to numerous opportunities through collaboration with Ecobank and its partners, potentially including: Multinational product rollout: an opportunity to integrate their solutions with Ecobank, opening doors to potential product launches within Ecobank’s expansive 35-country Pan-African network; service provider partnerships: Selected fintechs may become Pan-African service partners within the Bank’s ecosystem.

Other opportunities include access to Ecobank’s Pan-African Banking Sandbox where fellows will receive exclusive access to Ecobank’s cutting-edge application programming interfaces [APIs], enabling them to test and develop their products for the Pan-African market; and priority access to Ecobank’s Venture Capital partners for funding exploration.

Since inception, 60 fintech startups have been inducted into the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship, the Bank says.

The Ecobank Fintech Challenge is designed in partnership with international advisory firm, Konfidants, and is supported by various partners.

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