HiiL launches West African hub for legal startups

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Non-profit legal research and advisory firm HiiL has launched the Innovating Justice Hub in Lagos, Nigeria, providing a working space where entrepreneurs and technology innovators can meet up and find solutions to issues surrounding justice in West Africa.

HiiL, which recently co-hosted the SME Empowerment Innovation Challenge for East and West Africa, is opening local justice hubs across the continent to scout, select and accelerate justice innovations.

Over the past year, local HiiL agents have been scouting and accelerating justice innovations in Nairobi’s iHub and Nailab, leading up to the East African Innovating Justice Hub, which is planned to open early next year. More justice hubs are expected to be set up in North and Southern Africa.

DIYLaw.ng, the winner of the SME Empowerment Innovation Challenge, is already being incubated at the Lagos hub. The call for applications for the 2016 SME Empowerment Challenge will start this month.

“We are aiming to make legal processes simpler and more efficient by using technology, and this hub will strive to ensure that this is achieved,” said HiiL’s Innovating Justice regional liasion Olufunbi Falayi.

Wilfried De Wever, head of the HiiL Innovating Justice Accelerator, stressed the importance of youth led startups, observing that investing in the business climate from the bottom-up increases the sustainability of the flow of capital to the continent.

“These innovations can significantly contribute to the improvement of the daily lives of people and SMEs across Africa,” he said.

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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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