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Nine innovators compete for $10k MTN MoMo technology

By William Madouk


At least nine web developers and entrepreneurs are in a tight race to pocket $10,000 in MTN South Sudan’s first-ever Mobile Money (MoMo) Access Programming Interface (API) hackathon.

This hackathon, organized by MTN Group Fintech, allows third parties to come up with innovative ideas to accelerate financial inclusion and drive the digitization of payments across Africa.

According to MTN South Sudan, about 330 ideas were submitted, and after a thorough screening, only nine applicants were picked for the next stage.

Candidates will now develop their prototypes and do presentations after 30 days, and only three successful participants will be declared the winners of over SSP 10 million.

MoMo Chief Executive Officer, Francis Matseketsa, said the Open API enables developers and programmers to innovate on the platform and develop products, services, and other solutions to enable a wide range of digital solutions for MTN’s customers.

“So MTN is at the forefront of driving financial inclusion in South Sudan,” said Matseketsa.

“This tool, the Open API, will actually accelerate the growth of financial inclusion in this country, which we believe, as MTN, is critical and catalytic to the economic development of the country,” he added.

He stressed that enhancing financial inclusion using digital technology is an essential element in furthering a country’s economic development, particularly in places where there are no banks.

“While we have banks in this country, there are limited branch networks across the regions, whereas MOMO is available everywhere you would want to be in this country,” he stressed.

“It’s also an opportunity to create employment, especially for the youth and young minds in this country,” he continued.

Below is the nine ideas selected for next stage

In the grand tapestry of the MoMo hackathon, winning is not just a victory but also includes the first prize of USD 5,000, the second prize of USD 3,000, and the third prize of USD 2,000.

The programme has been running since September 1 in 12 different countries, including Ghana, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Rwanda, eSwatini, Congo Brazzaville, Guinea-Conakry, Zambia, Benin, Liberia, South Africa, and Nigeria.

With each country-specific event bringing together the brightest minds in technology and entrepreneurship,

Mr. Harrison Daka, MoMo Product & Services Manager, said, “We shortlisted nine ideas, and then we’re going to give them a maximum of up to 30 days to develop the actual end product. They will interact with our technical people so that they are guided on what they are going to do.”

MTN, the South African giant telecommunications company, aims to harness the talent and creativity of Africa’s developers, enabling them to leverage the MoMo Platform and create opportunities for growth.

The company firmly believes that collaborating with Africa’s talented individuals will expand the service offerings available on MoMo.

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