Barclays Africa launches $10,000 prize for ideas to boost supply chain transparency on continent

31 July 2015

Barclays Africa has launched the Supply Chain Challenge competition, which aims to reward ideas that increase transparency in the supply chain.

The competition is open to individuals, teams and start-ups, and entrants are asked to come up with solutions that are relevant to any industry. They are encouraged to use digital currencies and associated technologies that sidestep banks, such as block chain databases and distributed ledgers. Entrants should be 18 to 35 years old and live in Africa.

Finalists will be invited to pitch to a panel of experts in Cape Town, South Africa on 3 November 2015. The closing date for entries is 18 September. There is a $10,000 prize for the overall winner.

Barclays Africa said transparency had become increasingly important for supply chains as consumers want to know where the goods they are purchasing actually come from. Food and diamonds are just some of the items that require all supply chain participants to ensure traceability of goods.

Stephen van Coller, chief executive of corporate and investment banking at Barclays Africa, said: “The supply chain, the journey of a product from manufacturer to consumer, is often disjointed and inefficient and there is currently a huge amount of interest in finding ways to increase the transparency of provenance, not least of which is the use of block chain technology.”

“Block chain and similar technologies have substantial potential in creating transparency about the series of transactions that occur along any supply chain process.”

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