Ugandan startup, Yunga, have emerged winners of the Ugandan leg of this year’s edition of the Justice Innovation competition organized by the HiiL Justice Accelerator. By virtue of their victory in the competition, the Ugandan startup has also bagged a cash prize of USD 6 K and a place at the 2018/2019 session of the HiiL Justice Accelerator Programme.
Yunga is a local digital network that makes real-time communication possible between neighbours in cases of attacks or emergencies. The startup was awarded with the cash prize having seen off competition from nine other Ugandan startups who made it to the finals of the challenge, including Bataka Court Model, Tunga Innovations Ltd, Via, BitShelter, JusticeBot, LegIT, Prison Officer Legal Empowerment (POLE) Model, Zzimba Games, and Muchomo Moments Ltd.
The ten finalists that made the cut pitched their innovations in front of a jury that brought together a number of notable personalities including Nicholas Kamanzi of Africa’s Talking, Dustyn Winder from Akili Ventures, and Barbara Kitui of The Justice Law and Order Sector.
This year’s edition of the competition is said to have drawn application from up to 400 Ugandan startups before the list was trimmed to a final ten. The ten startups that competed in the finals are believed to have been selected based on such criteria as impact, sustainability, scalability, and team. External mentors are also said to have played a part in the assessment of the applications received, with their focus areas being feasibility, social impact, and institutional impediments to the innovations.
The eventual winners, Yunga, were closely followed by Tunga Innovations and LegIT who were named first and second runner-ups respectively. Prison Officer Legal Empowerment (POLE) were also recognized in the audience vote category.