Looking back

Whilst not having touched Dutch soil yet, as I am writing this blog 14.000 feet up in the air, I cannot believe I am heading back home. My time at Zoona has been a very inspiring, exciting, and challenging experience which I can recommend to anyone. Let me share a few final thoughts and insights.

To start, Zambia is a beautiful country (do visit Lower Zambezi, Livingstone and South Luangwa!) with warm and caring people who are always in for a chat and joke. Although I was aware of this in advance, the actual level of hospitality and friendliness still surprised me. I received many invites to dinners and other events which led to great social interactions and lots of fun. Zambians know how party; I will really miss this aspect of Zambian culture.

With regards to Zoona, the company is more well-known and integrated to Zambian society than I initially anticipated. Almost everyone I spoke to knew Zoona and was genuinely positive about their services.

I also learned that Zoona’s agent-, teller- and booth network requires a lot of logistical management, data analysis, and human interaction. Something I did not expect when starting this assignment. The booth designs are overly simplistic. In reality, the “back-office” structure is rather complex and labor-intensive to ensure everyone and everything (data and network amongst others) is continuously up and running. This remains an ongoing effort and is accompanied by many challenges.

I am really curious to witness if Zoona remains one of the biggest and best-known players in the fintech industry of Zambia. Its large outreach, quick turnaround time, and high accessibility (no account or formal registration needed) could work out very well for them.

Lastly, blogging is more difficult and time consuming than I expected. Inspiration is just simply not always there. Nevertheless, the writing process offered me an effective way to reflect on my experiences and to form opinions… and of course, it leaves a nice testimony for later.

I hope you enjoyed reading my blogs and got enthusiastic about getting involved on a similar experience yourself. I am confident that you will not regret it!

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