Now in its second year, DataHack4FI is an innovation competition that brings together data enthusiasts, technologists, and financial service providers (FSPs) to develop data-driven solutions for delivering financial services to underserved communities in Africa.
Forming part of the insight2impact (i2i) initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, the competition will feature regional competitions held in six African countries. The winning team from each country will progress to the grand finale in Kigali, Rwanda, in May 2018 – standing the chance to win US$25,000 and opportunities for investment.
“It is an exciting initiative, which highlights the important role of innovation in achieving financial inclusion for all. Not only does DataHack4FI focus on supporting local communities through inclusive financial services, it also presents the potential to develop solutions contributing to the economic empowerment of women and youth in Sub-Saharan Africa,” says Hannah Clifford, Director of Nairobi Garage.
The Kenyan leg of the competition kicks off on February 1 WITH expert panel discussions and debates exploring the scope of the competition. Following the launch, participants will have access to a series of webinars, and will cometogether for two meet-ups on February 22 and March 16 to work on their ideas with the help of expert mentors including Chris Orwa, data scientist at Safaricom; Nanjala Misiko, senior industry analyst at Google; Elvis Bando, data scientist at Pezesha; Muthoni Wanyoike, programme assistant at Code for Africa; and Dr John Loitubulu Olukuru, lecturer at Strathmore University’s School of Finance and Applied Economics.
Teams will be finalized in March and will work on fine-tuning their solutions in time for the in-country final to be held on April 17. The teams will pitch to a panel of expert judges, with the winning team to be selected to fly to Kigali to participate in the grand finale in May.
The top Kenyan team will receive US$5,000 and six months’ co-working facilities at Nairobi Garage. A prize of $2,500 will also be awarded to the team that produces the best women and/or youth-centric solution. The second and third placed teams will each receive three months’ membership to the newly opened Nairobi Garage Club space.
For further information, please visit www.datahack4fi.org. Applications are open until February 21.