Digital Kaduna Hackathon: Building for Financial Inclusion

Digital Kaduna Hackathon: Building for Financial Inclusion

As part of the work done at Digital Kaduna Lab, DFS Lab and Colab carried out a landscaping exercise in January 2022 to identify and understand the usage of digital financial services as it relates to women in Kaduna state. This exercise led to the development of a Gender Research Report which was launched on the 23rd of July, 2022 at CoLab Innovation Campus, Kaduna Technology City, Kaduna.

Upon the launch of the report, certain results, findings and questions were raised by participating stakeholders present. Some of these questions included:

  • What other forms of financial inclusion methodologies should stakeholders be considering?
  • Is USSD a cheaper method for financial inclusion and are Fintechs/Financial institutions open to the use of USSD and if yes, who bears the cost?
  • What other ways can government & private institutions foster financial inclusion for women?
  • Are the data of underrepresented groups efficiently captured with regard to financial inclusion in Kaduna state? 

To this end, the Digital Kaduna Lab team took it a step further to create an avenue through a hackathon event for these questions to be answered through products that would address the problems and issues being raised from the Gender Research Report.

We also reached out to agencies in Kaduna state to understudy and fish-out problems or challenges experienced in the digital financial landscape. 

These findings formed a bedrock in the solutions being developed at the hackathon. The hackathon event brought together developers and product designers to test their abilities to build solutions for digital financial services with little or no barriers.

Held on the 24th – 26th of October, 2022 at CoLab Innovation Campus, Kaduna Technology City, Barnawa, Kaduna. The hackathon featured a total of 8 teams tackling different problems and responding to varying questions as it pertains to Financial Inclusion.

Each team spent 3 days learning from the gender research findings, sessions on design thinking and hands-on support from mentors.

Teams present at the hackathon and their solutions are provided below:

  • DanAdashe :  A modernized adashe system of savings designed with the aim of clustering different traditional means of savings and providing an inventory  system that clearly captures their financial footprint to help scale their  businesses
  • Kadpay :  A fintech platform with a special focus on women from ages 18+ and disabled individuals aimed at  providing digital solutions to their financial needs and ease financial services in local communities.
  • Clay Vault : Clay helps customers manage and grow their finances by helping them save to reach their goals. Customers are able to access their savings as a commodity leveraging their preferred value chain products or as cash.
  • Ofafa :   The daily thrift collection app for agents, aimed at optimizing daily thrift Collection (Adashe /Ajo) in Kaduna.
  • Kadashe : An app that enables women traders make seamless transactions through on-demand bank agents…
  • The North : Digitizing the traditional savings and Contributory (Adashe System)
  • The Hand :  The Hand is a system that takes into account the customization needs of unbanked persons, especially market women. 
  • DIFFTRACKA : Building a digital financial footprint for the financially excluded by building infrastructure that collates the financial records of women from non DFS


After spending days developing their products and working on their ideas, the hackathon recorded three teams as winners in this order:

  • Team Ofafa coming in first place
  • Team DIFFTRACKA coming in second place 
  • Team The Hand came in third place.

Team Ofafa

Team Difftracker

Team The Hand

These teams received  a total of  $1500 as honorarium while Digital Kaduna Lab commits to working with these teams to take off their products from the ground and into the lives of women with the aim to promote and develop a more inclusive digital kaduna as it pertains to financial services.

Here are some findings from the just concluded Digital Kaduna Hackathon- Building for Financial Inclusion:

  1. The Design thinking session was crucial to  providing context on financial inclusion for the teams
  2. Thrift collection and collectors are crucial to financial inclusion
  3. Mobile money agents will play a major role in collecting data of and for the unbanked
  4. Point of sale devices should have KYC solutions as part of their features
  5. Market women are focal points for financial inclusion
  6. Thrift collection can be digitized as financial history

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