Zambia DataHack4FI competitionn

Entries for the in-person Kenya DataHacks4fI country competition are now closed. You can still enter the virtual competition that runs from mid to end April – provided you have not already participated in the in-person event already. Registrations close on 14 April 2017 and final submissions from registered teams are due on the 25th.

DataHack4FI Zambia Launch

From 24 – 26 March 2017, we hosted our third DataHack4FI innovation country competition in Zambia in partnership with BongoHive, Financial Sector Deepening Zambia (FSDZ), and Insurers Association of Zambia (IAZ). The competition took place at BongoHive in Lusaka with the aim of developing innovative data-driven solutions to advance access to financial services for low-income individuals in Zambia.


The competition kicked off with a breakfast meeting on 24 March with a keynote speech and panel discussion.


The keynote speech was given by Betty Wilkinson, chief executive officer of FSDZ, and highlighted the importance of data availability, accessibility, and privacy, in driving financial inclusion in Zambia. She emphasized the need for collaboration amongst financial service providers (FSPs) and Fintechs, and the responsibility of young people in driving financial inclusion. She encouraged them to imagine innovations with implications beyond the Zambian market.


The panel discussion was facilitated by Simunza Muyangana, co-founder and director of entrepreneurship at BongoHive; and the discussion explored the role that data plays in financial inclusion, with a focus on inclusive insurance markets. There were 4 panelists including: Mauwa Lungu from FSDZ, Kambole Chituwo from IAZ, Celina Lee from insight2impact (i2i), and Webster Twaambo from Professional Insurance.


The discussion focused on the limited reach of the financial sector in Zambia, specifically insurance markets, and the potential of data to address it. For example:

  • Pooled databases of claims history across insurers could be used to reduce fraud and encourage outreach to riskier segments;
  • Credible, relevant, and timely data could be used to enable real-time pricing of premiums based on actual behavior;
  • Alternative data could be used to address the limited coverage of formal financial information in credit bureaus; and
  • Data can be used to understand and match products and services with consumer behavior and financial needs.

  • Following the breakfast meeting, 7 teams of data enthusiasts arrived for a 48-hour DataHack4FI immersion experience. Competitors were given access to FinScope Zambia datasets from 2005, 2009, and 2015, as well as GIS data collected in Zambia in 2015. They were challenged to use the data to address how smart phone technology can be used to increase up-take of insurance in Zambia.

    With guidance from the support team, the competitors worked to develop a prototype or concept to pitch to a panel of 3 judges to win a chance to represent Rwanda in the finals of the DataHack4FI competition in May 2017. There were 4 coaches including: Uloma Ogba from UNCDF, Collins Musamba from Zoona, Mark Mondoka from Venivi and, Francis Mumbi from Stanbic Bank Zambia. Additional support was provided by Dumisani Dube and Celina Lee from i2i; and Elias Chipimo, a board member of FSD Zambia.

    The teams attended two days of master classes, brainstorming, prototyping and data hacking and were ready to pitch their solutions to a team of judges on Sunday, 26 March. The judges included Simunza Muyangana and Lukonga Lindunda from BongoHive, and Manoj Chiba from i2i.
    Seven teams were selected to move to the next round where they will have a series of meet-up sessions listed below, which will take place on April 7th, 13th and 21st at BongoHive in Lusaka from 18:30 – 20:00.

  • Meetup 1: How to design a business model
  • Meetup 2: Introduction to the series and data analysis and visualisation
  • Meetup 3: How to pitch your solution
  • DataHack4 FI Finals: Friday, 28 April, time TBD

  • The DataHack4FI competition in Zambia forms part of the pan-African insight2impact (i2i) DataHack4FI competition series that brings together the brightest minds in Africa to come up with data-driven solutions for financial inclusion.


    Meet the teams from Zambia

    According to FinScope 2015 only 33.7 percent of adults in Zambia are financially included. While levels of financial exclusion have reduced since the past few years, financial inclusion remains relatively low and therefore of significant concern to both policymakers and financial service providers alike.

    This past weekend, BongoHive and Insight to Impact launched the Data Innovation Competition to advance financial inclusion and also hosted a 2.5-day hackathon with the participants of the competition. The hackathon attracted about 25 participants, awesome and eager to create solutions to solve problems in financial inclusion and insurance in Zambia.

    Seven (7) teams emerged during the hackathon.


    Team I-Tech
    Reagan Tembo (Team leader), Rose Tembo, Katuta Besa

    A device called Polani health care. The Polani health care device is a medicine dispenser, alarm, and reminder. It will be able to take records of the patient’s or client’s medication intake. With the usage of this device, a significant amount of data will be generated which will further be refined and analysed to gain insights. Insurance companies will be able to use this data and generate strategic analysis for making better business decisions. For eg: a patient with poor intake habits will be charged a higher health insurance premium than one with good intake habits. Data from this device will help insurers to continuously monitor information about their customers.

    Team Blockheads
    Mwiza Simbeye (Team leader), Patrick Sikalinda, Paul Joseph Mapulanga, Richard Nsama, Fred Samani & King Kalaluka

    A mobile app called ZINGA to help decrease number of financial exclusions in rural areas. The app will offer money transfer, savings & insurance at the nearest local point Hospitals/ Clinics. Schools. Shops. Zinga offers a platform that will allow an individual to send, receive, save (alone or Group) and also get any insurance that will suit their needs at the nearest accessible point like schools, churches, hospitals/clinics and/or shops.

    Team Initiative
    Moonga Chowa (Team leader), Ernest Mafuta & Peter Nkonde A mobile and USSD app called Chilimba to assist people to join savings groups, sends alerts on withdrawals and deposits to all members. A team leader controlling the app can send a join or reject message to people. Once they accept the invitation to join savings group, they are directed to team leaders location (school, hospital, supermarket) where they can deposit money and start saving.

    Team Nemo
    Aubry Lungu (Team leader)

    Loan Inclusion mobile app that allows one to view loan options, access a loan and pay back the loan using talk time credit top ups.

    Team Binary
    Pukutu Mwanza (Team leader), Bislon Zulu, Katongwe Yuyi Longwe, Chansa Kabwe, Inonge Mubiana

    A mobile application with insurance services’ options for students. The app will act as a bridge between the insurance providers and students. Students can have the option of paying insurance premiums using Paypal and mobile money. Insurance companies are the customer, students are the users.

    Team T-Click
    Kudzai Mhende (Team leader), Blessings Chishimba Kalambai, Farai Zhanje

    An application to financially include agriculturalists/farmers by linking them with FSPs and Insurance companies offering products and services ideal for agriculturalists or farmers. For eg: a product that allows them to use livestock as collateral to get a loan or to pay as an insurance premium. And also educate them on their options.

    Team Outsource Now
    Vernon Ushibantu (Team leader), Adam Dawoodjee, Chisepo Chirwa and Mukopaje Singogo

    A payment gateway system for different payments such as insurance premiums, deposits for savings and withdrawals using Z’pos centres as agents. This is to make savings and insurance services convenient for those unable to reach the bank or insurance company.

    The Coaches were:

  • Mark Mondoka Strategic Advisor at Microsoft
  • Elias ChipimoFSDZ Board member
  • Uloma OgbaKnowledge Management Specialist at UNCDF
  • Collins MasumbaCustomer insights agent at Zoona
  • Francis MumbiHead, Products Segments and Pricing, Stanbic Bank.

  • The panel of Judges included:

  • Manoj ChibaData scientist Insight 2 Insight
  • Lukonga Lindundaco-founder & Exec.Dir BongoHive
  • Simunza Muyanganaco-founder & Head of entrepreneurship BongoHive.

  • What next? After the pitch event, all the 7 teams were selected to enter a 4-week mentorship and accelerator program with i2i this April 2017. On 25th April 2017, the final pitch event will take place where the winner will be picked. The winning team will proceed to attend and take part in the Transform Africa summit in Kigali, Rwanda in May 2017.

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