Ghana’s first digital micro-savings platform, Naa Sika has been selected among 40 winners of the World Summit Awards 2021 (WSA21) intended to reward tech startups whose solutions meet the United Nations’ Strategic Development Goals (SDGs).
Naa Sika was the only Ghanaian startup selected from among the winners, out of more than 8,000 entries for 2021, through a rigorous process, including a presentation to the WSA21 Grand Jury in a virtual forum.
A nomination letter from the WSA president to Naa Sika stated in part that the jurors evaluated all shortlisted projects in an open, transparent and fair process, resulting in the selection of a list of the most impressive 40 WSA winners for 2021.
He noted that each of the 2021 winners demonstrated how content-driven digital solutions decisively support societal challenges and help achieve the UN SDGs.
“I am delighted to let you know that you have successfully completed your presentation and that your solution has been selected as one of the 40 WSA 2021 Winners!” the letter to Naa Sika said.
There are nine award categories, with five winners each. Naa Sika is the winner in the Inclusion and Empowerment category, along with four others.
Other categories in the awards program are Government and Citizen Engagement, Health and Wellness, Learning and Education, Environment and Green Energy, Culture and Tourism, Smart Settlement and Urbanization, Business and Commerce as well as WSA Young Innovator.
The WSA noted that the global pandemic has revealed the importance of digital solutions and this year’s winners are a great example of how digital solutions and applications can help protect the environment, support healthcare, provide high quality and inclusive education, connect people, and share relevant information.
“The winning projects demonstrate the diversity and richness of digital content solutions globally,” said WSA’s President.
The awards were announced on Monday, February 7, 2022, and each of the winners will have the rare opportunity to present their winning solutions to a global audience, including investors at this year’s WSA World Congress, scheduled for March 22-24, 2022. which is an entirely virtual forum under the theme “Hack The Gap”.
But this is not the first time that Naa Sika has made Ghana proud on the international stage.
In 2020 alone, Naa Sika won three awards – Best Social Protection Solution – World Bank; Innovation Award – Fontomfrom Amandze Award and Digital Innovation Accelerator – GIZ.
Then in 2021, they received the Startup Superstar Of The Year – Western Business Awards, ahead of this again this year.
Naa Sika Team Leader Ralph Menz told Techgh24 that “Naa Sika is truly a cross-platform for all things money because we give customers the freedom of channel choice to manage their Naa account. Sika, namely WhatsApp, Telegram, USSD, iOS and Android apps.”
According to him, currently, the platform mainly steers the savings culture towards the only functionality now the savings product, which comes in three categories – Aku Sika (traditional susu), Barima Sika (time-limited savings to a specific project), and Aya Sika, which is a fixed deposit product locked for at least 90 days.
He said payment, insurance, pension, loan and investment products will soon be added to the platform.
Ralph Menz said that for 2 years the company had been prototyping the solution only in the Western region, piloting it with savings with a bot on Telegram, but now “we have Telegram, WhatsApp and USSD. We also made savings plans easier to understand and more comfortable for users. iOS and Android will be ready in 60 days.
He said the awards further encourage the team to keep innovating to make their dream of creating a solution to impact Africa a reality.