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Mobile phones are part and parcel of African life today. Despite high poverty levels, cellphone usage is extraordinarily widespread, giving telecoms access to people in the remotest of areas and replacing the need for fixed line infrastructure in rural and even urban settings.

It’s an exciting time. Mobi-tech innovators are riding high with solutions that improve health, streamline daily-life activities and support financial inclusion and money movement. They are radically transforming people’s lives.

So what else can the continent’s bright young minds come up with through one of the world’s most exciting mobi-tech competitions? What happens when a bank like Citi decides to give young startups a platform to present new mobile phone applications with a view to potential investment, mentoring and launching their apps into the market?

The Citi Mobile Challenge is a worldwide call for innovation and disruption, drawing out young developers and startups to innovate around new applications in the financial tech space. The competition, run in cities across the globe, launched its EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa) leg in Nairobi in 2015, and IT’S AFRICA’S TIME was there to check it out.

Join us in Kenya as we experience the event, and step into the crazily impressive world of one of its entrants, a fin-tech startup called Umati Capital, who in just eighteen months has radically transformed the face of SMEs and rural farmers with their exciting cash flow and data sourcing agri-app.

Gallery

  • David Mbugi, Chairperson of Kenga Farmers Co-Operative
  • Farmer Jane Ngari granddaughter, Christabelle
  • Happy workers at Ten Senses macadamia factory with show host, Lisa Chait
  • IAT crew discussing the recent macadamia nut harvest with farmer Jane Ngari and co-op members
  • IAT crew filming at Macadamia factory Ten Senses, an SME client of Umati Capital
  • IAT crew films Umati Capital founders outside the Citi Mobile Challenge in Nairobi
  • Ivan Mbowa and Munyutu Waigi from Umati Capital 1
  • Ivan Mbowa and Munyutu Waigi from Umati Capital take the office with them to a Macadamia nut farm
  • Ivan Mbowa from Umati Capital visits a macadamia nut farm
  • Kenyan macadamia nut farmer, Jane Ngari 2
  • Macadamia factory Ten Senses, an SME client of Umati Capital 1
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Show host, Lisa Chait, with Umati Capital founders, Munyutu Waigi and Ivan Mbowa
  • The IAT crew filming at Macadamia factory Ten Senses, an SME client of Umati Capital
  • The IAT crew with Macadamia nut farmer, Jane Ngari
  • The IAT crew with Roy Shechter from Citi and two of our characters, Ivan Mbowa and Munyutu Waigi, from Umati Capital

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Mobi-tech innovators are riding high with solutions that improve health, streamline daily-life activities and support financial inclusion and money movement. They are radically transforming people’s lives. So what can the continent's bright young minds come up with through one of the world most exciting mobi-tech competitions? IT’S AFRICA’S TIME visited Kenya to see what happens when a bank like Citi decides to give young startups a platform to present new mobile phone applications with a view to potential investment, mentoring and launching their apps into the market.

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