Zimbabwean legal-tech founder up for Innovator of the year gong at Africa Tech Awards

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By Gilbert  Nyambabvu

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THE founder and chief executive of Zimbabwe Innovation and Legal-Tech Association (ZILTA) Rutendo Mugadza-Mugwagwa has been nominated for the Female Innovator of The Year gong at the 2022 Africa Tech Festival Awards.

The awards will be part of the annual Africa Tech Festival which will this year be held in Cape Town, South Africa, early next month.

In their 15th year now, the Awards acknowledge “Africa’s greatest telecoms and technology contributors to its progression as a digitally inclusive and enhanced continent”, said the organisers.

Voting closed this Sunday with the other nominees for Mugadza-Mugwagwa’s category including, Zambian Chilufya Mutale, founder and CxO at Premiercredit Zambia Limited, Nigerian Oladiwura Oladepo, Co-Founder and Executive Director at Tech4Dev as well as Tanzanian Irene Phoebe Kiwia, Co-Founder at Adanian Labs.

Commenting on her nomination, Mugadza-Mugwagwa said, “it is a great honour to be identified and acknowledged for the efforts I am trying to achieve through the use and implementation of Technology.

“Most Law students when they graduate, aim to get into private practice, government or corporate and yet not everyone can get that opportunity.

“Therefore one of the biggest goals of the Association is to educate them on Alternatives to the traditional law career. Technology is an enabler which is why we should embrace it.

Rutendo Mugadza-Mugwagwa

The Harare-based lawyer added; “Being nominated on a regional level is by far one of my greatest achievements thus far this year.”

Zimbabwe Innovation and Legal Tech Association says its aim is to bridge the gap between access to justice and access to legal services through innovative solutions.

“We aim to educate and empower law students and professionals on the importance of using technology to deliver effective legal services to clients,” said Mugadza-Mugwagwa.

“The biggest challenge that we face is that most people are unaware of where to get legal assistance or they simply cannot afford.

“So, we have now made it our mission to bring about innovative solutions to accelerate access to justice and legal services through tools such as Will-iy, a chatbot that allows the user to draft a will in Whatsapp.

“Will-iy is one of our first incubated projects in which we aim to make estate planning convenient, faster and affordable and for every Zimbabwean in any part of the world.”

The Africa Tech Festival turns 25 this year and comes a t a time when tech-based innovation is increasingly becoming key to socio-economic development on the continent and across the world.

“Technology-backed and based innovation, some of which will be on show at the event in Cape Town this year, has played a large role in propelling Africa into becoming commercially competitive, and in many cases outshining more so-called developed economies,” said James Williams, for the organisers.

“Whilst technology itself is powerful, it is the people and the companies who create and deliver these technological marvels and solutions who are the real heroes, and it is they we look forward to feting in Cape Town in November.”

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