Ten innovators from the Ugandan legal technology ecosystem qualified for the 2018 HiiL Justice Accelerator, putting the pearl of Africa in the top position in terms of the number of innovators that came from each country.
These Ugandan startups are Bataka Court Model, a community based informal Justice Model, that provides an alternative justice mechanism to enhance access to justice for the poor; Tunga Innovations Ltd, an app that informs users about their employment rights; and Yunga, a local rescue digital network for neighbours, that allows them to communicate with each other in real time in case of attack.
Others are Via, a conversational legal voice assistant, that utilizes artificial intelligence to give legal information on the go and recommends a lawyer thereafter; BitShelter, whose system is an interactive system that disseminates, shares, and displays legal information including images, video, text, and audio in real time; JusticeBot, a chatbot that provides access to legal procedures information and services, to Ugandans in needs of legal service and justice; and LegIT, a self-service platform that enables micro, small and medium enterprises to generate legal documents conveniently, efficiently and affordably in three easy steps!
There is also Prison Officer Legal Empowerment (POLE) Model, which empowers prison communities and the poor with the law; ZZIMBA GAMES, which is simplifying the justice ecosystem by simulating Ugandans experience through an entertaining card & board game, that mirrors their environment and subsequently empowers them; and Muchomo Moments Ltd, which uses videos to break down the law to the masses in relatable languages, through local video shacks.
Uganda was followed by Ukraine which sent 8 projects and then Kenya and Netherlands which sent six respectively.
Other countries that are participating in this program that is backed by Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL) are Zimbabwe, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Nigeria, Myanmar, India, Ghana, Benin, Tanzania, and Bangladesh.
According to officials, the finalists were picked from 400 applicants. The finalists are now undergoing a pitching competition in their respective countries. The Ugandan innovators will be assessed on September 28 at Hotel Africana in Kampala.
For this year, the competition is focusing on startups that can resolve pressing justice problems in the following 5 areas: Family Justice, Land- and Neighbour Disputes, Crime and Law Enforcement, Employment Justice, and Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.
The best projects will get training through acceleration programs, seed funding and the cash a startup needs to grow.