According to the World Bank Group, financial inclusion is a crucial tool for reducing extreme poverty and fostering shared prosperity, yet the more innovation we have in the financial sector, the more gaps that we have left to cover. Digital Banking in Africa also reported that about 57% of the population is unbanked, and one of their major problems is the high illiteracy level, especially among farmers and rural dwellers. 

To solve this problem, there was a call for applications to fill this gap within the Agritech sector in the just concluded Next Innovation with Japan (NINJA) accelerator program. Interestingly, one of the businesses with a huge capacity for partnership was Ecobba – a Pan-African-based startup with a platform for the world’s unbanked and underserved communities that leverages community savings and lending groups to drive industrialization. 

Their team operates a B2B2C model with primary consumers being in the informal sector, women, youth, improvised communities, and SMEs in the agro-value chains. They came out as one of the top five (5) from the 1072 businesses who applied for the program. They started in Kenya, but seek to explore other African regions as there is a vast disparity between the emerging economies and the financially included populations. 

The eCOBbA solution enables both customer segments to collect KYC, store and manage their data better; secure their transactions; access more finances and value addition in the form of microinsurance, pensions, and loans; connect them to a marketplace for their products; build capacity into their productivity; and enable them to be a part of a dynamic financial inclusion ecosystem. which invariably solves most of the spotted problems. Check them out at

With Kessia Ntirandekura (cofounder/CEO) in the program for 3 months, they have recorded the onboarding of groups and individuals of over thousands of people, partnered with microfinances and banks such as United Bank for Africa (UBA), potential partnerships with a Crypsense company that deals with digital asset management, drafting contracts, and ongoing conversations with the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) to provide a sandbox environment for 12 months. 

The National Bank of Kenya is also one that is interested in partnering and carrying out projects with them. To also prove their learning process with the mentors, advisors, and facilitators they engaged in the program, Ecobba is exploring a partnership with Kitovu (one of the startups in the NINJA accelerator program) to support the farmers in their ecosystem.

 To join them on this journey to reach the unbanked and underserved communities, send an email to and 

Get the best African tech newsletters in your inbox