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MTN Uganda launches $270K Startup Fund



MTN Uganda, part of the MTN Group has announced a $270,000 Startup Fund and granted access to third-parties to its Mobile Money Access Programming Interface (API) to create products that ease payment options and leverage the 10M of MTN clients registered on Mobile Money.

Developers and programmers in Uganda will get free access to MTN mobile money API platform to integrate mobile money into their web and mobile products with ease and hence grow the mobile money payments ecosystem. MTN is the biggest mobile money operator in the country with over 10 million users.

According to Ms. Elsa Muzzolini, the General Manager, Mobile Financial Services MTN Uganda, “This is an exciting development for the Ugandan start-ups ecosystem. Innovators will now be able to develop applications that ease the customer experience in terms of mobile money payments. We do hope that this move will spur innovation in the developer community around the country because this is the first time this is being done here.” 

The MTN Mobile Money API will be accessed by developers online through ending the lengthy manual application process developers used to go through. The online system provides an option where before developer’s product goes live, they can test it using a sandbox available at no cost on the website.

MTN’s Ugx1bn (US$270,000) Startup Fund is expected to provide a financial boost to startups that will participate in the MTN innovation challenge series. The first of these is the MTN Open API Challenge starts on 3 December 2018. Participants will make their entries on the innovation challenge website.

“It has been 20 years since we started operating in Uganda and our role in this economy has been evolving. Today, opening the Mobile Money API further emphasises our ambition of being a digital company. Ugandan developers now have the opportunity to build products that will enhance financial inclusion, improved customer experience when making payments and improve the movement of virtual money,” said Wim Vanhelleputte, the MTN Uganda CEO.

MTN Uganda also unveiled Ugx310m (US$81,000) high speed internet connectivity package to the Innovation Village, courtesy of the MTN Foundation. The package includes free internet connectivity for use by young developers and innovators as part of its youth empowerment drive.

MTN Uganda will be working with several technology and innovation hubs around the country to facilitate the training of developers on how to use the platform. Free training program is available for registration on MTN website.


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