- He is known globally as the father of microcredit.
- Kilimo Africa won the hackathon
Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus, the President of the Grameen Foundation has challenged startups in Kenya to leverage tech to avert social and economic challenges.
He is known globally as the father of microcredit.
According to him, technology holds a torch to minimising poverty, food insecurity, climate change and insecurity.
“Poverty is not created by poor people but by the systems we have in place, policies made and the legal frameworks created in the specific countries and in order to alleviate poverty the systems and policies have to be fixed, and tech is a major way to go about it,” he said.
Prof Yunus was speaking during a Hackathon event held in collaboration with Moringa School-themed “Technology for Impactful Change The focus of the hackathon was to leverage the power of collaboration and technology to develop home-grown impact-based solutions.
Former Makueni County Governor Prof. Kivutha Kibwana applauded Prof. Yunus’ approach to grassroots economics and reported that he tried to implement the Grameen model of microfinancing in Makueni, but was hampered by existing legal and licensing barriers.
He added that such a game-changing model would alleviate poverty and improve the livelihoods of Kenyans.
Four Kenyan tech companies Chiro, Kambare, Kilimo Africa and Rafiki Carbon pitched their solutions in a hackathon to eliminate Food Insecurity and promote Waste Management.
For Food security, the challenge included showing how tech can be leveraged to mobilize information and optimise food distribution between food-secure and food-insecure areas as well as to align food supply with food demand by providing farmers with the relevant information.
On the other hand, under Waste Management, participants had to have designed a smart waste collection system that allows citizens to segregate the various types of waste to be disposed of and to enable county governments to effectively collect and dispose of waste to other partners for recycling.
The winner of the Hackathon was Kilimo Africa- a company that offers training to farmer groups and individuals, training to farm managers, soil testing services, mobile and on-farm consultancy, farm layout plans as well as farm budgeting for all enterprises and development fertiliser and spray programs.
The judges found their concept to have potential for impact and scale, their business model scalable and included a solution to farmers and the entire ecosystem.
Kilimo Africa will benefit from a mentorship programme by Yunus Social Business that will help them refine their business model and position them for funding.