Digital Frontiers Institute established the Certified Digital Finance Practitioner (CDFP) program, in 2017, to support the growing need for a professional certification in digital financial services. Now, three years later, we celebrate the first ever graduating class from this one-of-a-kind course.
Featuring students from across the world, including ones from Zambia, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Rwanda and the United Kingdom, the 2019 graduating class have all completed their CDFP program including their practical application. This is the first ever CDFPs in the world and are ready to lead the growth of the digital financial services sector.
Without further ado, let us introduce this exclusive group of CDFP graduates. We can’t wait to see how they use their brand-new CDFP certification to push industry boundaries.
1. CHRIS STATHAM
Our first CDFP through the door was Chris Statham from the United Kingdom.
Chris has 13 years DFS and MFI experience primarily as a freelance consultant in Sub-Sahara Africa (Malawi, Tanzania and Ethiopia) and MENA (Jordan and Saudi Arabia) regions. Chris founded his own DFS consultancy in Tanzania 2011-2014, this after helping to launch Tigo Pesa in Tanzania. He has worked for an Ethiopian Payment Service Provider and consulted with multiple banks, MFIs and NGOs, regarding DFS implementation, partnerships and product development. Chris’s CDFP journey was sponsored by the Mastercard Foundation.
Chris did his CDFP practical on the following topic: Could microfinance institutions and those who are starting the digital transformation process, be the catalyst for the mobile money / DFS in Jordan? Read it here.
- KOMBE KAPONDA
Our second CDFP graduate is Kombe Kaponda from Zambia
Kombe is a seasoned ICT Networks and security Engineer turned digital financial services (DFS) enthusiast currently serving at the Central Bank of Zambia. Prior to joining the Central Bank, he has solid experience working for the US Department of State (DOS) with the United States agencies in Zambia including the Embassy of the United States and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and others. He has multicultural expertise, is a strategic and analytical thinker with information security and risk management experience. Kombe is a keen follower of latest developments in Information and Communications Technology used for Development (ICTD) and the technology used to improve the lives of ordinary citizens around the globe. Kombe was sponsored by FSD Africa for his CDFP program.
Kombe did his CDFP practical on the State of Cryptocurrencies and Regulatory Challenges in Zambia.
- CHARITY CHIKUMBI
DFI’s first female CDFP graduate is from Zambia
Charity is the Policy & Digital Financial Services (DFS) Head at FSD Zambia. Her special areas of interest within DFS are using technology for problem-solving, and regulation. Having gained skills in digital ID, blockchain and cryptocurrencies, as well as digital financial services in agriculture and gender, Charity has used her newfound knowledge to aide several initiatives. Contributing effectively to the Biometric project in Zambia and contributed to the smallholder farmers DFS project amongst other projects including doing a blog on gender and mobile money booths in Zambia. In addition to new skills, knowledge and professional recognition, Charity is the Lusaka-based Community of Practice (COP) Facilitator and was instrumental in the formation of the registered professional association in Zambia called the Association of Digital Finance Professionals. Charity’s CDFP program was sponsored by FSD Zambia.
Read Charity’s Blog on the The Unheard Cry of a Female Mobile Money Agent in Zambia here.
- TAVONGA MASENDEKA
Tavonga is our fourth graduate is from Zimbabwe.
Tavonga is a digital transformation and fintech expert, with over 8 years’ experience in the field. Currently, he is a Senior Manager in the Digital Value Office for a financial services company. He has a passion for operational excellence and has been involved in financial inclusion initiatives, electronic and mobile payments (issuing and acquiring), card business strategy, business development, product development strategy, telecommunication technologies and project management. He has also consulted with several DFS ecosystem players, regulators, government entities, banks and MFIs regarding DFS implementation, partnerships and product development. Tavonga was sponsored by FSD Africa
Tavonga wrote a blog post on Lending in the Golden Data Age which you can read here.
- MOHAMMAD RASHED
Our first Asian CDFP is MD Rashed from Bangladesh
Mohammad Rashed has been serving Bangladesh Bank (central bank) since 2006 and is currently in the position of Joint Director. He was responsible for AML/CFT related supervision of Money Remittance as well as Digital Financial Services for 7 years. He was the lead researcher/author of the Study Paper, “AML/CFT Regulation for Mobile Money: Policy Options for Bangladesh” (2017) and “NGO/NPO Sector Assessment of Bangladesh” (2015). He speaks on digital finance, inclusion and AML/CFT issues in different local and international training, seminars, conferences and webinars. He has been working as member of different government and central bank committee/panel/working groups related with digital finance, inclusion and FinTech innovation. Rashed was also pivotal in the formation of the professional association ‘Digital Finance Forum Bangladesh’ and he now has the role of Founding Convener. Rashed is also DFI’s COP facilitator in Dhaka.
Listen to the very interesting Webinar on DFS Landscape in Jordan and Bangladesh here.
- OPHELIA AMA ONI
Our sixth CDFP is from is from Ghana
Ophelia Ama Oni has worked at Fidelity Bank for over 12 years with experience in branch banking, ebanking, mobile money and financial inclusion. She is currently the Strategy and Business Development Manager for the inclusive banking department of Fidelity Bank Ghana Limited with the responsibility of pursuing its financial inclusion agenda.
Ophelia is passionate about using technology as an enabler to develop solutions to reach the unbanked and underbanked to enable them have greater access to financial services. She is also a founding member of the Financial Inclusion Forum Africa adn is DFI’s COP facilitator in Accra. Ophelia’s CDFP program was sponsored by the Mastercard Foundation.
Ophelia was a presenter of the webinar Financial Education: Bridging the Literacy Gap and Empowering to Financial Inclusion, listen here.
- ROBINSON MBAE
CDFP graduate number seven is from Rwanda
Robinson is a Digital Product Owner for Bank of Kigali. Prior to joining Bank of Kigali, he worked as Assistant Manager at Chase Bank Kenya Ltd. He has extensive experience from the financial sector in aspects of digital banking, agency management, remittances and mobile money. In his capacity, as product owner, he is responsible for end to end product decisions and outcomes with an emphasis to shape and implement products that transform customer experiences. Robinson has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from London Metropolitan University and is currently undertaking a Master’s degree in Digital Currencies from University of Nicosia. He is the first East African CDFP.
Robinson’s CDFP Topic: Mobile Money Betting and Financial Inclusion to Sport Betting and its Relationship to Digital Credit, read it here.
- EDMOND MACHENGETE
Edmond is a Zimbabwean working as an Acquiring Technical Lead at Bank of Kigali, Rwanda.
Prior to joining Bank of Kigali, Edmond worked as an EFT Engineer with EFT Corporation, Harare, Zimbabwe where he implemented and supported payment platforms across Africa. He is a very practical and experienced electronic funds technology and digital payments engineer, PECB ISO 22301 Lead Implementer whose expertise spans across a wide spectrum of cutting-edge revenue, service improvement and cost-minimization digital platforms. He aims to leverage his skills, experience and exposure to make a significant impact in digital financial services.He’s sponsored by the Mastercard Foundation.
Read Edmond’s blog on: Shortage of Cash in Zimbabwe and its Impact on Digital Payments Adoption here.
- FAHAD SHAHAB
Fahad is our ninth graduate from Pakistan.
Fahad is a founding member of 1LINK, Pakistan’s national payment switch, where he led product development and business implementation. He describes himself as goal-oriented and self-motivated and excels working under pressure. He is passionate about human development, economic empowerment, digital money, blockchain, gender and financial services and inclusive growth. Fahad boasts a wealth of experience working with multinational banks, financial services providers and payment brands and integrating them into the national digital ecosystem for Pakistan. He is also DFI’s COP Facilitator for Pakistan.
- LUBASI MPASA
Lubasi slidding in at our tenth spot is from Zambia
Lubasi is an experienced Product Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the banking and telecom industries. Skilled in Negotiation, Business Planning, Analytical Skills, Sales, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Strong product management professional with a Master of Business Administration – MBA focused in International Business from University of Greenwich. Lubasi’s CDFP topic focused on an investigation into the relationship between digital money penetration, cashless society and financial inclusion in Zambia.
Congratulations to our top 10! Digital Frontiers Institute is proud to boast such an outstanding group. Special thanks to FSD Africa Mastercard Foundation and FSD Zambia for sponsoring some of these graduates. FSD Africa has been a core funder of DFI since its inception. To our 530 CDFP students still on the program – good luck and we hope to see you join this exclusive group soon.
Want to join this exclusive group of CDFP’s: APPLY TODAY