Charity Chitalu Mwanza: Leading with Exceptional Attributes

Charity Chitalu Mwanza
Charity Chitalu Mwanza

A leader is someone who realizes there is always room for improvement, even if they are already skilled in a particular area. In order to effectively solve problems, leaders need to have strong analytical and critical thinking abilities as well as the capacity to remain composed under pressure. They must also be able to quickly recognize original solutions that make the best use of the resources at hand.

In addition to being a crucial leadership skill, the capacity to deal with issues as they arise while remaining upbeat and mission-focused can set a great example for workers. No matter how well we plan, things can still go wrong.

These traits exemplify the leader who envisions enabling eternal innovations and developments towards new betterments. This is where Charity Chitalu Mwanza, CEO of Digital PayGo, excels in the spotlight.

Digital PayGo is a mobile-first Fintech company with a base in Zambia; it offers solutions for digital financial inclusion. These solutions aim to build a digital ecosystem by focusing on users of mobile wallets, people who are financially excluded, financial institutions, and value-add service providers.

In an interview with CIOLook, Charity Chitalu Mwanza shares valuable facts highlighting her journey and professional tenure in the dynamic business arena.

Below are the excerpts from the interview:

Brief our audience about your journey as a business leader until your current position at your company. What challenges have you had to overcome to reach where you are today?

Information Technology Helpdesk Coordinator was where I began my journey. In this role, I was providing end users support post-core banking system upgrade. The development of my problem-solving abilities to promote change started at an early age in my professional life.

I spent my first nine years at the bank working in the information technology department before moving on to transaction banking, project management, and digital transformation. I finished my amazing tenure at the bank by leading the Strategy and Innovation department where my enthusiasm for innovation and change was harnessed.

The need for change gave birth to the concept of founding a fintech business to provide solutions for digital financial inclusion. From the conception of the idea to the launch of the Digital PayGo brand, it took 13 sleepless months.

There have been detours along the way. I have encountered conflicts in the workplace, prejudice against women, self-doubt, toxic workplace politics, unsuccessful product developments, compliance issues, and the stress and workload that comes with starting up Fintech operations.

Tell us something more about your company and its mission and vision.

At Digital Paygo, we are firm believers in the possibility of cooperative alliances and interoperability to achieve our goal of eliminating barriers to digital financial inclusion. Digital PayGo is a marketplace for mobile payment solutions with the goal of taking a concentrated approach to expand the digital ecosystem.

Our digital products include a Virtual Farmers Market (MAANO), Payment Aggregation Services, Shared Agent Banking, Merchant Mobile Payment Solutions, and a Kid’s Money Management App. (MYJUBA). By 2025, Digital PayGo desires to be Zambia’s top provider of digital shared services.

Enlighten us on how you have impacted your niche through your expertise in the market.

Many value chain activities have been made simpler by our Virtual Farmers market, a mobile platform that connects smallholder farmers to markets and linkages access.

Quick and simple farmer onboarding is provided, along with transaction tracking and pricing transparency. After 7 months of the product debut, we onboarded 21K+ farmers from 178 rural districts of Zambia.

The platform offers value-added services like weather index insurance, making it simple for smallholder farmers to protect their crops.

Describe in detail the values and the work culture that drives your organization.

Innovation and agility are ingrained in all we do. We frequently go above and beyond because we are passionate about solving community problems.

Undeniably, technology is playing a significant role in almost every sector. How are you leveraging technological advancements to make your solutions resourceful?

The team ensures that technology is used to simplify the customer journey or solve a specific problem. Digitalize 100% of the MSMEs.

What, according to you, could be the next significant change in your sector? How is your company preparing to be a part of that change?

With the rise of AI, robotic process automation, smart contracts, and virtual reality, the future is exciting. As Digital PayGo, our mid to long-term technology strategy positions the organization to exploit the business opportunities resulting from these technologies.

Where do you envision yourself to be in the long run, and what are your future goals for your company?

Continue to use technology to solve community challenges for Zambia and Africa at large. I envision a time when all smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa will adopt smart farming.

What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into your sector?

Identify a problem and deliver a customer-centric solution with passion and tenacity, and then the money will follow.