And the winner is…….

Boabab! Yesterday, the first Innovating Justice Challenge Regional Finals took place in Johannesburg. During the pitch competition each of the finalists had to showcase their innovation to the audience. The jury looked at which innovator gave the best pitch based on the following four criteria: impact, (financial) sustainability, potential to scale and overall presentation. Boabob took first place, with PhoenixCMS finishing second and Masenze Strategic Advisors in third place. Congratulations to all winners and the rest of the innovators who participated in the pitch competition!

Prior to the pitch competition there were speeches from Sam Ngcolomba, founder of Lady Liberty, as well as a key note speech by Naledi Chirwa of Soul City. Ms Chirwa spoke about her work with women’s groups across South Africa in disadvantaged communities. She discussed many issues, highlighting in particular the poor state of law enforcement and criminal procedures when it comes to gender-based violence. For the women she talks to on a regular basis, access to justice can be an impossible dream.

A panel discussion, moderated by Jeff Yu-Jen Chan of GIBS, and consisting of Nerushka Brown, Law Specialist at Emerging Technology and Darryl Bernstein, Partner at Baker McKenzie, discussed funding of sustainable access to justice.

A special thanks to the members of the jury who judged each of the innovators: Mr Tony Pillay, Acting CEO of Law Society of South Africa, Ms Nicci Stewart, Founder of The Y Project, Ms Charmika Samaradiwakera Wijesundara, lecturer at Wits University School of Law and Ms Tiyani Majoko, Co-founder of Lawgistics Legal Consultants.

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