East, West African startups named Innovating Justice semi-finalists

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The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL) has announced semi-finalists from East and West Africa for its annual Innovating Justice Challenge.

Successful finalists will gain access to up to EUR20,000 (US$24,000) in equity-free grant money and a place in the six-month HiiL Justice Accelerator.

The challenge saw a record 601 innovations submitted from 65 different countries, with Disrupt Africa reporting last month on the selection of seven Southern African semi-finalists.

All regional semi-finalists will attend and pitch at local Boostcamps in Kampala, Accra, Nairobi, the Hague, Johannesburg, and Kyiv, with up to 10 innovations the being selected to pitch at the final – the Innovating Justice Forum 2017 – on December 7.

The Nairobi Boostcamp will feature SMS portal for legal aid M-Haki, land ownership verification app Smart Shamba, product verification app Tambua, gender-based violence support platform Usalama, bail application service MSheria, and SMS service for corruption Mullika Hongo, all from Kenya. Rwanda is represented by Gerayo, a real-time crime reporting portal, and SocialWell, a gender based violence case management system.

Semi-finalists in Kampala are anti-trafficking app Safe Futures, GBV victim SMS service Wogana!, justice accountability service Evidence and Methods Lab, SMS service for Muslim minorities Muslim Centre for Justice e-Law App, land verification app the Land Title Search App, plea bargaining service Pilot Public Defender Project, migrant travel agency E-Migrate, land dispute service Protection of land rights under customary land tenure, SMS employment issue service Citizens Reporting for Justice, and dispute mediator West Nile Mediation Centre, all from Uganda.

The Accra Boostcamp will involve Ghanaian companies BenBen, which provides fast, easy access to blockchain-secured land transactions, Vertex Legal Protection, which offers access to legal counselling and representation, land records platform INDenture, and Keep Calm, which equips local leaders with basic legal skills to mediate over small claims.

Also involved are Nigerian car theft detterent system LegitCar, Nigerian legal platform for lawyers Lawpadi, Malian legal services platform Legalsoba, and Senegalese legal service Cabinet Gaiba.

Meanwhile, Tunisian company E-Municipalité will take part in the Boostcamp at The Hague, pitching its application that allows citizens to access information regarding municipal activities and regulations.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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