Barclays Africa Group Limited (Barclays Africa) has selected the five finalists of the Barclays Africa Supply Chain Challenge from a strong field of competition, following the launch of the challenge in Kenya in July. The challenge set out to uncover ideas to relook at the traditional approach to how the supply chain operates in Africa.

The judging panel, which will be hosted at Bandwidth Barn, Cape Town, on 3 November 2015, will include the following industry experts:

  • Erik Hersman, CEO of BRCK, Teju Ajani, regional content partnerships lead for YouTube
  • Ian Merrington, CEO of the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative,
  • Andrew Baker, CIO for Corporate Investment Banking and Payments at Barclays Africa.

“We were delighted with the response to the challenge and the quality of submissions. The concept judged to be the Barclays Africa Supply Chain Challenge champion will indeed be a worthy recipient of the $10 000 funding. In addition, Barclays will facilitate mentorship to help guide the growth of their concept over the coming months,” says Ashley Veasey, CIO, Barclays Africa.

One of these finalists profiled below will be crowned the 2015 Barclays Africa Supply Chain Challenge champion.

1. Freshmart App for Provenance

Freshmart is an online platform that directly connects rural farmers to food produce retailers and consumers. The Freshmart App for Provenance is an accompanying application that, through information recorded using blockchain, enables customers to research or review the conditions in which the produce they want to purchase was grown, sourced, handled, packaged and transported.

2. Catch Counterfeits

The Catch Counterfeits solution uses RFID and blockchain technology to ensure a seamless and transparent flow of pharmaceutical products from production to the customer, blocking all potential loopholes and negating the potential for resale or the introduction of faux medicines.

3. Farm Inputs Authentication

Farm Inputs Authentication uses smart contracts to track the distribution of fertilizer, pesticides and seed, as well as verify and authenticate their origin. Lack of efficiency in the fertilizer and seed value chain has led to the suffering of a lot of sub-Saharan farmers. This solution seeks to track the distribution of fertilizer and seed (from source to farmer), and authenticate it on receipt. The solution also seeks to track farm products from ‘farm to fork’.

4. Markit Opportunity

Markit Opportunity is a social enterprise that improves the incomes of smallholder farmers in the East African community, and incentivises regional trade by leveraging mobile technology and logistics innovation to create trusted, transparent and coordinated supply chains. The platform verifies crop data and offers trading opportunities through a novel, double-sided auction platform that guarantees traders high quality produce at competitive market prices.

5. Solutech Distribution Application

Solutech Distribution App is a mobile and web-based application that enables manufacturers to track their products from the warehouse to the shop front, replacing manual processes and helping achieve visibility and efficiency in the distribution process for manufacturing companies.

The Barclays Africa Supply Chain Challenge, which closed on 26 September 2015, was the first of several initiatives being extended into Africa with the aim to spark ideas to drive the digital evolution on the continent. Interested parties are invited to follow @ThinkRiseAfrica and visit for information on this and other Barclays’ initiatives.