Zindi connects African data talent with the organisations that need it most

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Finding just the right data scientist can be a tricky business, especially in many parts of Africa where formal data science qualifications are not commonplace. So when Charlie Harrison of AI for Impact needed a data scientist to implement a COVID relief project in the DRC, he turned to Zindi.

“We wanted a data scientist on the ground, someone who could write the code, analyse data, and turn aggregated mobile data into insights for COVID-related decision-making on the ground. Finding someone with the right expertise was a challenge, but Zindi were able to help us.”

Making an impact in the DRC

AI for Impact is a project of the GSM Association, an industry body representing more than 750 mobile operators around the globe. AI for Impact aims to accelerate the impact of the mobile industry on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, particularly in developing countries. It does this by leveraging mobile operators as data custodians in developing countries, and putting that data to use to respond to natural disasters, measure human displacement, and predict and monitor the spread of epidemics. In the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic, AI for Impact is helping build and implement a national pandemic response system in the DRC.

The DRC is a challenging environment to recruit from, with few national statistics and an under-developed tech ecosystem. Five people were shortlisted and D’Jeff Kanda Nkashama, one of Zindi’s candidates, stood out in the interviews. A DRC national, D’Jeff was employed in the role in July 2020, and is already making great strides according to Harrison.

“D’Jeff is working with Secretariat Technique and a company called Kinshasa Digital, and he was up and running very quickly. He understands the landscape and the technical aspects of the role, and is already building good relationships. He is smart, committed, and integrated well with the team on the ground.”

Building the AI ecosystem in Africa

Building the AI ecosystem in Africa is at the heart of what we do at Zindi. So it gives us a great sense of satisfaction to make these connections between talented data scientists and the organisations that need their skills and enthusiasm.

In the last few months we’ve been working on different ways to bridge this gap between organisations and talent in African data science. We recently helped build a relationship between the hosts of the AirQo Ugandan Air Quality Forecast Challenge and winners of that competition, Darius Moruri and Nikhil Mishra. This inter-continental team is helping AirQo implement the air quality model that earned them 2nd place.

A new home for African data talent

This is why we’re so excited to launch our Jobs Board this month. The Zindi Jobs Board represents new opportunities for our amazing community, and is an untapped source of data talent for African and global organisations. It’s already attracting a lot of attention from the Zindi community, 55% of whom are currently open to new employment opportunities. We believe the Zindi Jobs Board will grow to become the go-to platform for African organisations needing to find the right data talent and for African data scientists looking for fulfilling work.

If you’re looking to fill a data science role at your organisation, we’d love to help! Please reach out to us at careers@zindi.africa for more information.

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Zindi is a competition platform hosting a community of data scientists dedicated to solving Africa’s toughest challenges through machine learning & AI

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