RiseUp and International Telecommunications Union to organize a digital financial inclusion hackathon in Cairo

Cairo-based RiseUp is teaming up with International Telecommunications Union, United Nations’ specialized agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs) to organize a digital financial inclusion hackathon in Cairo.

The competition, Financial Inclusion Global Initiative (FIGI) Hackathon will be a part of FIGI Symposium that’s taking place in Cairo on 21st and 22nd January. The symposium is being organized by International Telecommunications Union, World Bank Group and the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures with the support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and is hosted by the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA) of Egypt.

The idea behind the hackathon, as its name suggests, is to develop and promote financial inclusion in Egypt and MENA. Organizers from the applicants will select up 15 teams of 3-5 participants who will be invited to take part in the hackathon and build digital products that enable financial inclusion with open and common APIs for merchant systems.

The statement by RiseUp announcing the hackathon notes that 1.7 billion adults around the world are still without access to a bank account, but among them, 1.1 billion have a mobile phone. “Innovation to expand financial inclusion is the focus of the Financial Inclusion Global Initiative (FIGI) Hackathon & Symposium,” it adds.

It also points out that Egypt is one of the three ‘model’ developing countries to receive technical assistance from FIGI community in the introduction of policy reforms to stimulate digital financial inclusion.

It is also worth mentioning that the Egyptian government lately has been taking (or mulling at least) different measures to improve financial inclusion in the country. So this hackathon is probably just in time.

The winners will share $11,000 between them as prize money with the top team getting a cash prize of $6,000 and $3,000 and $2,000 for the second and third teams.

“All participants will get to meet potential investors and showcase their products, while they help improve the financial lives of millions of small merchants around the world. Outstanding solutions will be taken forward by the FIGI community, a diverse set of decision-makers in the public and private sector,” says the statement by RiseUp.

All the members of participating teams must be 18+ years old and include at least one developer (engineer/coder) to build digital solutions (apps) and have the basic understanding of finance/financial inclusion.

The applications are open until 9th of January (extended deadline). You can learn more about the competition and apply using this link. The hackathon will take place on 21-22 of January at the Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski in New Cairo, Egypt.

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