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Data innovation competition launches in Ghana

Written on 06 Nov 2017

According to the 2015 Financial Inclusion Insights (FII) survey, access to formal financial services in Ghana has increased by 41% since 2010 (the last year in which the FinScope survey was conducted in the country). A key driver of this change is a substantial increase in access to non-bank formal financial services, specifically mobile money, which was virtually non-existent in 2009.

Despite this increase in access, the FII survey shows that a quarter of adults in Ghana remain financially excluded. Moreover, even though Ghana has achieved significant economic growth in the last two decades, much of this growth has been jobless growth and the unemployment rate for young Ghanaians is twice as high as the national unemployment rate

insight2impact (i2i) believes that data can be leveraged to assist in identifying and designing products to serve the unserved and underserved. At the same time, the increased availability of and potential use cases for data in sectors ranging from financial services to agriculture, has meant that the demand for data and analytics skills has grown. This field could be a source of future employment for suitably trained young people. 

i2i’s Data Hackathon for Financial Inclusion (DataHack4FI) is an opportunity to explore data-driven solutions to delivering financial services to the unserved and underserved to emerging segments in Africa; and a chance for aspiring data scientists to improve their skills.

Now in its second year, the DataHack4FI competition, will bring together some of the most innovative thinkers from six African countries – Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ghana and Zambia. 
Tech start-ups will be paired with a data science fellow and will collaborate (with some training support) in the development of a data-driven solution and pitch this to a judging panel. The winning team in each country will compete for a cash prize in the final competition, due to be held in Rwanda in May 2018.

In 2016/2017, over 120 individuals competed in the DataHack4FI innovation competition, with three start-ups successfully attracting seed funding from investors at the Transform Africa Summit in Rwanda.

The first in-country launch of the second season of the innovation competition is taking place in Ghana, in collaboration with our in-country partner Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology incubator (MEST), on the 6th November 2017. 


DataHack4FI is an innovation competition that brings together data enthusiasts and financial service providers (FSPs) to promote data-driven solutions to delivering financial services to emerging consumer segments in Africa. DataHack4FI is an insight2impact (i2i) initiative, with the support of our in-country partner in Ghana, Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology incubator (MEST)