By Mark Kawalya
Two Ugandan startups won two of the top awards at the recently completed Global Startup Awards (GSA) Africa Summit, which took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This follows the success of the Global Award, which was won by Ugandan startup Emata in 2022.
The GSA Africa, in partnership with the Ethiopian Ministry of Labour and Skills (MOLS), the Global Innovation Initiative Group (GIIG), the Ethiopian Ministry of Innovation and Technology (MInT), and with the support of the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) Ethiopia, revealed the 16 overall African category winners, two of which were Ugandan startups.
ZofiCash and TechBuzz Hub came out tops from a pool of 2,682 contenders across Africa and were among more than 8,200 GSA Africa entrants overall. The two startups were winners in two categories, which are Best Co-working Space and Best Commerce Tech. The Best Commerce Tech award went to Zofi Cash, a startup that is revolutionizing how salaried individuals access their wages.
The Best Co-Working Space award was won by Tech Buzz Hub, a company that creates inclusive workspaces with the mandate of helping young entrepreneurs achieve their enterprise goals through coworking spaces and providing facilities and infrastructure.
“This is not just an accolade for us but a testimony to our bold ideas and daring innovations that set apart Zofi Cash,” said Paul Kirungi, founder and CEO of Zofi Cash. He added, “This isn’t simply an award but a mandate that echoes our commitment to disrupting the antiquated monthly pay system, a system that promotes inequality and inhibits progress.”
Keneth Twesigye, CEO of Tech Buzz Hub, said the award is their first and actually the first competition they have entered. “This being a continental award will take us closer to a global award. I am confident of this,” he said. “With the big dreams that we have, we believe we are going to move this continent and amplify our growth.” Twesigye continued.
The competition ran for a year, and entrants competed first at the national level before being promoted as regional finalists. The finalists were then determined by an independent panel of judges, which offered an all-inclusive view of the African tech ecosystem. This year’s winners will be given a special opportunity to engage with the competition’s dedicated investment partner, the GIIG Africa Fund. The organization seeks to identify, finance, and develop African solutions to issues that are essential to the world as a whole through its GIIG Africa Fund and the GIIG Africa Foundation.