Frequently asked questions

What makes this competition different to other hackathons?

The DataHack4FI competitions are national, over-arching and inclusive competitions that cover all areas of big data and alternative sources of data within financial inclusion (insurance, savings, credit finance and mobile financial services). Where other data competitions tend to be specific to one thematic or subject area, the DataHack4FI competitions welcome all entries across IT and non-IT backgrounds. The competitions are deliberately broad in the subjects they cover and in the entry criteria, to ensure that as many people as possible can take part.

Do I have to attend a country-level DataHack4FI to qualify for the Grand Finale in May 2017?

We strongly encourage all entrants to participate in a country-level DataHack4FI to qualify for the Grand Finale. However, if you already have an innovative data solution that is at an advanced stage of development, exemptions are permitted. Please contact for enquires on how to gain an exemption.

What are the prizes?

The benefit to the competition participants will be getting a platform to grow their skill set through; Hackathon Competition Prize
  • A supportive platform on which to grow their skill sets.
  • Networking with other like-minded enthusiasts across the continent for knowledge exchange.
  • The opportunity to attend masterclasses and workshops on data science and be mentored by industry experts.
  • The opportunity to be attached to a willing FSP for them to practically implement their solutions.
  • The chance to win a place amongst the top ten teams across Africa at the Grand Finale competition (expenses paid).
  • The chance to win investment capital to help take their business ideas to the next level.
  • When is the deadline for online entries?

    The deadline for entry into all competitions can be found on the respective country competition pages.

    Am I eligible to enter the competition?

    Eligible participants should satisfy the following criteria;
  • College or university students, young innovators, software developers, data scientists, statisticians and members of other institutions that may be interested in data and new data trends leading to development of financial inclusion.
  • A team with an idea or proposal on the innovative generation and use of data or analytics in financial services delivery, which could impact financial inclusion. Proposals from teams who can demonstrate traction in testing or implementing their concept will receive preference.
  • Participants will be encouraged to approach FSPs in their countries and work with them in coming up with their proposal. Participants who can demonstrate existing relationships and buy-in from an FSP will receive preference.
  • When will the winners be announced?

    Winners for the country-level DataHack4FIs will be announced on the final day of each competition. The overall winner(s) of the Grand Finale will be announced 30 days after the competition.

    Where do I submit my application online?

    Please visit each country-level competition page to register your interest. Someone will then contact you with further details. If you experience any technical issues or wish to follow-up on an unanswered application, please contact

    My computer crashed before I completed my online application. What do I do?


    I submitted an online entry but didn’t receive a confirmation email


    Who can be on a team together?

    Each team should have no more than five members. Teams featuring representatives from at least three different academic disciplines (e.g computer science, statistics, behavioural science) would be preferred.

    Who are the judges?

    The competition judges will be in-country and regional experts from the fields of data science, banking and finance, insurance and mobile financial services.

    Where will the DataHack4FI be hosted?

    The venue for all competitions can be found on the respective country competition pages.

    What time with the DataHack4FI start and end?

    The timings for all competitions can be found on the respective country competition pages once confirmed. However, please anticipate a Friday 5pm start time, and a Sunday afternoon finish.

    What do I need to bring?

  • Your 'A' game
  • Laptop
  • What will be provided?

  • Work stations
  • Internet connectivity
  • Full meals and snacks
  • Transport