The Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF) says it is partnering with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to support 10 startups to increase the use of eNaira in the country.
The Chairman of AFF, Daniel Awe, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos.
He was speaking on the sidelines of the semi-finals of the eNaira Hackathon 2022.
Awe said the top 10 startups, innovators, entrepreneurs, were part of the over 5,000 startups that registered for the eNaira Hackathon.
He said there was a need to increase the use of eNaira in the country as it enhanced financial inclusion, supported digital economy and enhanced economic activities.
“The eNaira was introduced by the CBN in 2021 as a digital currency and many people have been asking the question, what is the real use of this eNaira?
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“A lot of people have also criticized eNaira, that they prefer cryptocurrency, but the truth is that eNaira is going to be a successful product when there are use cases, when people are able to see problems it is going to solve,” he said.
Awe said AFF and CBN collaborated on the hackathon to increase the use of eNaira.
“So the hackathon is a platform where innovators, developers, entrepreneurs, coders come together to solve problems, to create innovative ideas.
“When we put it on eNaira, it means we have brought in different players in the ecosystem – developers, coders, innovators, entrepreneurs, to come up with different ideas, different use cases, which they can leverage on eNaira,
“This is so that the consumers of eNaira will now see the benefits of eNaira, they will have the opportunity to see the problem that eNaira will solve,” he said.
Awe said CBN’s role was only to create the platform for fintech startups and entrepreneurs that the ecosystem can leverage to create solutions that will benefit the entire financial services space.
He said around 5,000 players in the fintech ecosystem applied for the hackathon.
Awe said they were whittled down to around 175 teams and eventually 70 for the quarter-finals.
He said the semi-finals would see 20 teams selected for the finals, out of which the top 10 would be assisted in increasing eNaira adoption in the country.
“Now, this top 10 potential business when they come out of the finals of the hackathon, there’s a cash prize for them.
“I think number one is going to get 5 million eNaira. Number two gets 3 million eNaira. Number three, 2 million and the remaining, the next ten will get 1 million eNaira.
“After that, the top 10 will continue in the AFF accelerator program, where some of them will get funding to start up their businesses based on their ideas,” he said.
Awe said they would be guided by CBN and AFF.
He said when they come up with good business with their innovations, employment will be created and they will increase the use of eNaira.
Awe said there was the possibility of wealth that would be created by these people. (NAN)