This Platform Pays Africans For Solving African Problems Using Data Science

Farai Mudzingwa Avatar

We’ve heard the craze surrounding big data, AI and data science as a whole, but we haven’t seen is the effects of data science being felt in Africa the same way other continents are embracing the tech… Zindi is a startup looking to change that and I believe their initiative will go a long way in informing companies on how effective data science can be…

Zindi is a platform that connects data scientists and people who need their problems solved and the best part of this is, the data scientists will be paid for their solutions. The value proposition to data scientists is as follows; the platform allows data scientists do what they love, whilst gaining exposure, earning an income, attracting potential employees and learning through collaboration.

To the competitions various hosts there are a number of benefits as well; they find the best solution, get co-ownership of the code, find the best data scientists for their organisation and get an opportunity to build their profile.

Multiple birds, one stone…

What kind of challenges will be posted?

The variety of challenges will depend on the companies/entities looking for solutions which means there will be a wide scope of problems to look into. Zindi gave some examples;

  • Predict crop yields based on satellite and weather data;
  • Classify SMEs and the types of they need to grow their business;
  • Predict take-up of micro-insurance products based on mobile data usage;
  • Identify which patients are most vulnerable to diabetes based on attributes observed in early childhood.

As you can see the variety of topics makes it very interesting and it will mean data-scientists can pick their poison independently. Competitions will be posted on a monthly basis.

Right now, there are three competitions that can be solved;

Decent payouts?

Data scientists can create their profiles on the site

Users can also start discussions or join existing discussion on the platform, where they’ll get a chance to talk to other data scientists and increase their knowledge base.

This can be a great way for companies that are still testing the data science waters to see how effective analytics can be for their businesses. If a company isn’t sure whether or not they can see tangible benefits from creating a data science division, they can start out by sourcing out some problems on platforms like Zindi and then make a more informed decision later. This ladies and gentlemen… This is the beauty of the internet.


  1. Munhumutapa XXII

    Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us and triggering itself spontaneously.

    1. Farai Mudzingwa

      Agreed. Genuinely excited about this platform!

  2. Peter George Raeth

    Notice the “competition” basis of the platform. Problems get posted, multiple complete solutions are proposed, and one solution is selected. It is all or nothing. Only one solution is selected and only one competitor is paid. All the other competitors do not get paid. They have done the work for free. Interesting also is the question of who owns the solutions that were not selected and whose producers were not paid.

    1. Ekow

      Thanks for the comment Peter. Actually, contestants only submit the output of their code, not the code itself. Once the winner(s) are decided, they – and only they – would be asked to submit their code for verification. We’d like to think that all contestants gain a lot by pitting themselves against the challenges posted on the Zindi platform. Above all they learn, get better at their craft and gain exposure to real world problems.