AU announces WeKonnect as winner of Humanitarian Innovation Challenge


Joseph Mulabbi, Founder and CEO of  WeKonnect and his team making statement at the award ceremony in Kampala

Joseph Mulabbi, Founder and CEO of WeKonnect and his team making statement at the award ceremony in Kampala  © UNHCR

The African Union named Ugandan firm WeKonnect as the winner of its 2019 Humanitarian Innovation Challenge for developing a mobile App that will make it easier for forcibly displaced people to get access to vital services.

The award includes a 20,000-euro grant that will enable WeKonnect to further develop, test and implement its multilingual communications system, comprising mobile app, SMS and calls, in Nakivale Refugee Settlement.   

Entrepreneur Joseph Mulabbi, Chief Executive Officer and founder of WeKonnect, said the application will help efforts to redesign the humanitarian aid model to allow refugees and IDPs to become the main decision makers in their own lives by allowing them to communicate more easily and widely.

He stressed that the WeKonnect App helps to facilitate interaction between displaced people, including refugees and internally displaced persons, and host communities in the countries or areas where they live.

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Its development is in line with the call for African solutions to African problems. Mulabbi said he was grateful for “an opportunity to play a part in the transformation of the lives of refugees in Uganda and Africa."

The AU organized the Humanitarian Innovation Challenge to identify promising digital technology-based ideas which tackle forced displacement or other humanitarian challenges in Africa. There were five finalists out of about 170 entrants.

WeKonnect’s win was announced at a ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Kampala Convention on internally displaced persons. The AU has also arranged a full programme of activities in 2019, including the Humanitarian Innovation Challenge, to promote its theme of the year, which highlights the search for durable solutions to forced displacement in Africa.

For more information, contact:

In Kampala, Suleyman Ali, [email protected] +251 911079548

In Addis Ababa, Leo Dobbs, [email protected] +251944308444