Charity Chikumbi and her journey to becoming the world first female CDFP

Categories : Blog


Author: Sarah Corley


Meet Charity, the world first female Certified Digital Finance Practitioner. After watching Gavin Krugel, DFI’s CEO, give a speech at a UNCDF conference, Charity was determined to up her game in digital finance. So she signed up for the Certificate in Digital Money (CIDM) course to gain a foundational understanding of digital money. “The course takes a student through what I call pillars of digital money,” she said. The CIDM course covers payment systems, digital money ecosystems, customer-centric marketing approaches, technology, policy and regulation, and financial inclusion.

After that she was hooked and decided to become a CDFP student. “I enjoyed the course materials and the job I hold needs lots of knowledge in DFS,” said Charity. “The modules provide great skill, and the ease of online learning with its flexibility provides a smooth journey.”

Charity is a sponsored CDFP as part of the FSD Africa and FSD Zambia scholarship program sponsoring applicants for the CDFP program. FSD Africa has been a core funder of DFI since its inception. “With the digital era upon us, we believe it’s essential for the financial services industry to have access to the knowledge and skills needed, not only to keep up, but to realise opportunities”, remarked FSD Africa’s Director of Financial Systems, Juliet Munro.

The Certified Digital Finance Practitioner program is built to support the emergence of a profession in the rapidly evolving digital financial services (DFS) industry. The 3-year deep-dive covers 22 digital finance courses, ranging from digital money and leading digital markets to the regulation of financial services, customers and uses of digital payments, technology and operational enablers.

All lessons take place in a virtual classroom, an interactive learning environment that only exists through a digital platform and that allows students to participate regardless of their geographic location.

Charity’s 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. “I have been contributing effectively to the Biometric project in Zambia, I have contributed to the smallholder farmers DFS project and many other projects including doing a blog on gender and mobile money booths in Zambia,” she said.

In addition to new skills, knowledge and professional recognition, Charity found the Lusaka-based Community of Practice (COP) equally valuable. DFI has 16 active Communities of Practice (COPs) around the globe who meet regularly to discuss digital finance and financial inclusion. “I made friends and new networking contacts. We shared lots and lots of knowledge and encouraged each other to continue when times were tough.” Charity has since become the COP facilitator and formally registered the association with the name Association of Digital Finance Professionals.

What is Charity’s advice for new CDFP students? “If you are just beginning your CDFP program, stay focused on the end goal and keep working through the modules. The course is interesting and you will not realise you are already finishing!”

Charity contributes regularly to DFI’s Community:


Want to be like Charity? – Apply for your scholarship today

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