Founded by Mathew Egessa, Famalia, an SMS solution that seeks to empower people to conveniently get information on succession cases was named winner of the Innovative Justice Bootcamp in Nairobi organized by the the Hague Institute for the Innovation of Law (HiiL).
Held end of September, the Nairobi Innovating Justice BootCamp was the first ever bootcamp by HiiL and saw 8 Justice Innovations pitch to an audience of various Industry players, with discussions on whether the Kenya justice systems is ready for technology intervention
Famalia is coined from two Swahili words: Familia – Meaning Family and Mali – meaning property. It majorly handles succession cases which are those on transfer of inherited property among family members via SMS alerts targeting about 1 million people who are listed as dependants in pending succession and land related cases in Kenya.
”A lot of time and money is wasted when they have to travel long distances to know the status of their cases,” says Egessa. ”It is also very inconveniencing and frustrating when litigants have to travel for long, only to find that the judge had given notice that he won’t be sitting on a particular date. Many people, even the educated, do not know the procedures to be followed in succession matters. This makes them to easily get swindled.”
The SMS solution addresses these four major problems by allowing subscribers to get SMS notifications when a judge gives notice that he won’t be sitting on a particular date. This prevents unnecessary travels. SMS notifications will also be sent when any update occurs on the files, for example, when a hearing date is set for a case. The system also allows the general public to conveniently query and find out the status of any succession case via SMS.
According to Egessa, the system also empowers the public to get SMSs showing the detailed procedures followed in the succession process. This prevents people from getting swindled.
Egessa and his co-founder Regina Cherotich have a combined 12 years’ experience in running businesses. The other partner is Juliet Nyarindo an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya with 4 years’ experience in the legal field. Egessa has over 8 years’ experience in the tech industry, 3 of which he was developing linkages between law and tech. He has developed a Case Management System which is currently in use at the Machakos High Court.
Other startups that pitched at the event included; Sauti, a mobile-based trade information and social accountability platform for SMEs ; Baraza, which aims to facilitate conflict resolution at the domestic level and among community members; Uwakili, an online legal services platform that provides Kenyan small and medium businesses and individuals; KnownAfrique Law, an app which links Law, Technology and Design to bridge this gap, by providing easier access to lawyers and simplified legal information that instantly empowers users with the knowledge they need.
Others include Equality for Growth serving marginalized women in Tanzania’s informal sector, large costs and time commitments prevent access to legal services; FarmingBay which aims to bring integrity and trust to farmers and traders in Fruits and Vegetables, Flower, Nuts, Coffee and Tea industries and lastly, Slum fighters International, an innovation that aims to facilitate and automate the urbanisation of existing slums into safe, healthy and sustainable neighborhoods.