Zambia’s mobile money firm Zoona has been awarded the Bank of Zambia Governor’s Outstanding Innovation Award for 2017, and two international Private Equity Africa Awards, recognising the company as a leader in innovation and key contributor to financial inclusion on the continent.
Zoona was awarded the Bank of Zambia Governor’s Outstanding Innovation Award at the 2017 Financial Literacy Awards in Lusaka, for its recently released Zoona Sunga product.
The Zoona Sunga e- was launched in Zambia in March this year, and allows anyone to keep their money safe – and withdraw it later. Zoona Sunga is available at any Zoona outlet in Zambia, has no monthly charges, no minimum balance and it’s free to cash-in. Consumers only pay a small fee when cashing out – which they can do at any time.
The Award was granted citing Zoona’s continued innovation in the digital financial services space, and highlighted the Zoona Sunga’s role in educating on and facilitating micro-savings.
“We are so pleased to be awarded the Governor’s Outstanding Innovation Award at this year’s 2017 Financial Literacy Awards. It is exciting to see our Zoona Sunga product, which was designed in full collaboration with the consumer, take off with such great success. Since its launch in February we have over 60,000 Zambians with a Sunga account – thus enabling them a safe and accessible place to store their money,” said Bob Keating, Managing Director of Zoona Zambia.
Zoona went on to receive a further two Awards at the international Private Equity Africa Awards held in London over the weekend, bringing the week’s total Award wins to three.
The company received two Portfolio Awards: the Innovation Award, and the Improvement Award.
The Awards were accepted at the LP-GP Summit and Awards Gala Dinner in London by Monica Brand Chairperson of the Zoona Board and Partner at Quona Capital – one of Zoona’s investors on behalf of Zoona.
“This has been an important month for Zoona. We started the month by announcing our new exciting prices, and now it’s a real honour to receive all three of these Awards in recognition of our innovation. These Awards validate our product offerings, and fuel our on-going commitment to making financial services relevant and accessible for our consumers across Africa,” concluded Mrs. Lelemba Phiri, chief marketing officer (CMO) of Zoona.
Founded in 2009 by Brad and Brett Magrath, two brothers from Zambia, Zoona has created over 3000 jobs in Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique and has empowered over 2000 entrepreneurs to start their own business and allowed them to reach earnings of over $10 million. The company has processed over $1 billion in mobile money transactions and has over 1.5 million active users.
Zoona has raised over $23 million in international investment from world class investors like the IFC (a member of the World Bank), Accion Global (whose investment is managed by Quona Capital) and Omidyar Network (impact investment fund started by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar).