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Data & Analytics in East Africa

Written by Hartnell Ndungi, Chief Data Officer, Barclays (Kenya)

The Rise of Data Analytics in East Africa

Written by Hartnell Ndungi on Jun 20, 2019 12:56:30 PM

CDAO Africa

Over the last eight years the East Africa region has undergone rapid transformation from new Fintech offerings, mobile money, digitalization and growth of digital financial services.

Retrospectively, the key driver for this shift has been the use of Data and Analytics for innovation and decision making. Most of the new start-ups launched in the key capitals are now offering innovative solutions to financial inclusion, customer experience and service delivery using data. Banks, Insurance firms and telecommunication companies are also rushing to formalize their data strategies as they train and source for key data skills for their organizations.

Given this shift, sector regulators are boldly forming strategic partnerships to build their capacity in Data management, Cyber security and Data Science. Early this year, commercial banks in the region witnessed the first thought leadership meeting organized by the Central banks to discuss data and digital emerging issues.

With heightened focus on Analytics, Data privacy and Data protection, I expect local data regulations currently in draft form, to be passed before the end of 2019. This means that organizations have to build capacity fast to mature, remain completive, retain customers and above all, be compliant.

Evidently the best time to be a Data professional in the region is now.


Hartnell is one of the first Chief Data Officers in the East Africa Region. His speciality is in the Banking and Financial Services sector where he has been able to master the development and execution of Key Data Strategies for large banks and financial institutions. With a deep understanding of Data Management, Analytics, Data Science and Governance, he seeks to ensure that organizations are able to understand the data they hold, harness actionable insights and deliver key use cases encompassing profitability, operational efficiency, product development and growth.

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