Jean A. Onyait, Founder, Akellobanker started by taking delegates through a short journey of imagining any human being living on less than $3 a day, which is quite hard but which, unfortunately, is a reality for over 23 million people in Uganda.
Jean said he worked with less than 10% of farmers but was hoping by the end of the presentation to get people to join him and his company in order to reach many more people. Akello Banker uses data and mobile technologies to enable millions on low income in Uganda to access services that enable the farming communities to increase their level of production. Without these technological inputs, farmers will be less likely to get out of the cycles of poverty.
With the Akello Banker platform and technology, farmers are able to request for input extension services, tractor hire services and other services requiring credit. These farmers are able to have access to millions of other users whose services they could use.
These are not people who need a lot of money which means everyone has an opportunity to invest and impact the lives of others, especially where food security is concerned.
Jean appealed to the government of Uganda to use their platform to deploy government tractors and extension workers.
He reported to Colonel Nakalema that farmers cannot get these government tractors, which are normally accessed only by people who have more money. Making those tractors available on the Akello Banker platform it will be easier for less affluent farmers to hire them.
Akello Banker is only looking to raise $250,000 dollars of investment.
Catherine Wines, Director & Co-Founder, WorldRemit Ltd asked Jean how he started Akello Banker. Jean explained that he was doing some work with the Ministry of Finance, working with cooperatives and SACCOS. When he went to the eastern part of Uganda, he met a lady called Akello whose name became the brand name. This lady was the team leader of a farming community of 30-women member group. During his research, Jean found that Akello had secured a loan for her group, but since the group did not make any repayment, Akello was subsequently arrested. Jean decided after that meeting to use his savings of $3000 to start the business. He paid off the debt for Akello and started working with a group of women, effectively creating the Akello Banker Platform.