UmojaHack Africa 2021 #2: Sendy - Delivery Rider Response Challenge (INTERMEDIATE) by UmojaHack Africa
Can you predict who is the best delivery rider for an order placed via logistics company Sendy?
$3,500 USD
Ended almost 2 years ago
266 active · 443 enrolled
Customer service

This is a private hackathon open to undergraduate and postgraduate students from African universities; see the full list of universities and university representatives here. If your university is participating you can reach out to them from 22 March for the secret code.

Find all the updates on UmojaHack here.

How to prepare for UmojaHack

  1. Add your university to your profile. Watch this YouTube video.
  2. Practice on a challenge and make your first Zindi submission. Watch this YouTube video.
  3. Make a team in preparation for UmojaHack. Watch this YouTube video.

Sendy links customers who have delivery needs with vetted transporters (from bikes to trucks), using a web and mobile application platform as well as an API. Customers select their vehicle of choice, get their price quote upfront and pay using various payment options. The system optimises the route and dispatches the order to the closest available drivers and riders (called Partners). The objective of this challenge is to create a machine learning model that will predict whether a rider will accept, decline or ignore an order sent to them. Picking the best rider to service the order will improve the experience of the customer and potentially save on time since the rider won’t cancel, creating a more efficient service overall.

The datasets provided by Sendy includes dispatch details and rider metrics based on orders made via the Sendy platform. The challenge is to predict whether a Partner will accept, reject or ignore an order that has been dispatched to them. A Partner will receive an order through the phone application and has a few seconds to accept the order. Alternatively, the Partner can actively reject the order. If the Partner doesn’t take an action we consider the order ignored. After a few seconds, Sendy will dispatch the order to the next available Partner.

The training dataset provided here is a subset of over 200 000 order dispatches and only includes direct orders (i.e. Sendy “express” orders) placed with bikes in Nairobi. All data in this subset have been fully anonymised while preserving the distribution.

About Microsoft (

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Microsoft has operated in Africa for more than 25 years. In that time they have built strong partnerships across the continent, helped bridge gaps in infrastructure, connectivity and capability, and are working to empower countries in Africa to digitally transform while creating sustained societal impact. Earlier this year, Microsoft opened Africa’s first hyper-scale data centers in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa. Most recently, the company also announced the opening of two Africa Development Centers in Nairobi and Lagos, where world class African talent can create innovative solutions for local and global impact.

About Standard Bank (

Standard Bank Group is a financial institution that offers banking and financial services to individuals, businesses, institutions and corporations in Africa and abroad. All Standard Bank products and services are based on a set of values that uphold the empowerment of their customers. Both internally, and in daily engagement with their clients we foster transparency, innovation, accountability and superior service.

About InstaDeep (

InstaDeep delivers AI-powered decision-making systems for the Enterprise. With expertise in both machine intelligence research and concrete business deployments, we provide a competitive advantage to our customers in an AI-first world. As one of the leading AI companies in Africa, InstaDeep knows first-hand what African talent is truly capable of.

InstaDeep has more than 120 employees spread across its headquarters in London, and offices in Paris, Tunis, Dubai, Lagos and Cape Town. In addition to its connections to African educational institutions, the company also possesses strong ties to elite French schools and top rated universities in the UK. To apply: and

About Sendy (

Sendy is a business-to-business platform established in 2014, to enable businesses of all types and sizes to transport goods more efficiently across East Africa.

The company is headquartered in Kenya with a team of more than 100 staff, focused on building practical solutions for Africa’s dynamic transportation needs, from developing apps and web solutions, to providing dedicated support for goods on the move.

Currently operating in Kenya and Uganda, Sendy is expanding to Nigeria and Tanzania, to enable thousands more businesses to move volumes of goods easily, anywhere, at any time. Sendy aggregates a pool of delivery options from 28 ton, 14 ton, 5 ton trucks to pick up trucks, vans and motorcycles.

“At Sendy, we’re on a mission to change the lives of everyone we touch; from patients who rely on regular medicine at the local pharmacy to farmers who urgently need to move their produce to silos, we are offering a service that African companies can depend on. We are building a platform to tackle logistic challenges that business across Africa face on a day to day basis.”

This is a private hackathon open to undergraduate and postgraduate students from African universities; see the full list of universities here. If your university is participating you can reach out to them from 22 March for the secret code.

Teams and collaboration

You may participate in competitions as an individual or in a team of up to four people. When creating a team, the team must have a total submission count less than or equal to the maximum allowable submissions as of the formation date. A team will be allowed the maximum number of submissions for the competition, minus the total number of submissions among team members at team formation. Prizes are transferred only to the individual players or to the team leader.

Multiple accounts per user are not permitted, and neither is collaboration or membership across multiple teams. Individuals and their submissions originating from multiple accounts will be immediately disqualified from the platform.

Code must not be shared privately outside of a team. Any code that is shared, must be made available to all competition participants through the platform. (i.e. on the discussion boards).

The Zindi user who sets up a team is the default Team Leader. The Team Leader can invite other data scientists to their team. Invited data scientists can accept or reject invitations. Until a second data scientist accepts an invitation to join a team, the data scientist who initiated a team remains an individual on the leaderboard. No additional members may be added to teams within the final 5 days of the competition or the last hour of a hackathon, unless otherwise stated in the competition rules

A team can be disbanded if it has not yet made a submission. Once a submission is made individual members cannot leave the team.

All members in the team receive points associated with their ranking in the competition and there is no split or division of the points between team members.

Datasets and packages

The solution must use publicly-available, open-source packages only. Your models should not use any of the metadata provided.

You may use only the datasets provided for this competition. Automated machine learning tools such as automl are not permitted.

You may use pretrained models as long as they are openly available to everyone.

The data used in this competition is the sole property of Zindi and the competition host. You may not transmit, duplicate, publish, redistribute or otherwise provide or make available any competition data to any party not participating in the Competition (this includes uploading the data to any public site such as Kaggle or GitHub). You may upload, store and work with the data on any cloud platform such as Google Colab, AWS or similar, as long as 1) the data remains private and 2) doing so does not contravene Zindi’s rules of use.

You must notify Zindi immediately upon learning of any unauthorised transmission of or unauthorised access to the competition data, and work with Zindi to rectify any unauthorised transmission or access.

Your solution must not infringe the rights of any third party and you must be legally entitled to assign ownership of all rights of copyright in and to the winning solution code to Zindi.

Submissions and winning

You may make a maximum of 100 submissions per day.

Before the end of the competition, you need to choose 2 submissions to be judged on for the private leaderboard. If you do not make a selection your 2 best public leaderboard submissions will be used to score on the private leaderboard.

Zindi maintains a public leaderboard and a private leaderboard for each competition. The Public Leaderboard includes approximately 50% of the test dataset. While the competition is open, the Public Leaderboard will rank the submitted solutions by the accuracy score they achieve. Upon close of the competition, the Private Leaderboard, which covers the other 50% of the test dataset, will be made public and will constitute the final ranking for the competition.

Note that to count, your submission must first pass processing. If your submission fails during the processing step, it will not be counted and not receive a score; nor will it count against your daily submission limit. If you encounter problems with your submission file, your best course of action is to ask for advice on the Competition’s discussion forum.

If you are in the top 5 at the time the leaderboard closes, we will email you to request your code. On receipt of email, you will have 2 hours to respond and submit your code following the submission guidelines detailed below. Failure to respond will result in disqualification.

If your solution places 1st, 2nd, or 3rd on the final leaderboard, you will be required to submit your winning solution code to us for verification, and you thereby agree to assign all worldwide rights of copyright in and to such winning solution to Zindi.

If two solutions earn identical scores on the leaderboard, the tiebreaker will be the date and time in which the submission was made (the earlier solution will win).

If the error metric requires probabilities to be submitted, do not set thresholds (or round your probabilities) to improve your place on the leaderboard. In order to ensure that the client receives the best solution Zindi will need the raw probabilities. This will allow the clients to set thresholds to their own needs.

The winners will be paid via bank transfer, PayPal, or other international money transfer platform. International transfer fees will be deducted from the total prize amount, unless the prize money is under $500, in which case the international transfer fees will be covered by Zindi. In all cases, the winners are responsible for any other fees applied by their own bank or other institution for receiving the prize money. All taxes imposed on prizes are the sole responsibility of the winners. The top 3 winners or team leaders will be required to present Zindi with proof of identification, proof of residence and a letter from your bank confirming your banking details.

You acknowledge and agree that Zindi may, without any obligation to do so, remove or disqualify an individual, team, or account if Zindi believes that such individual, team, or account is in violation of these rules. Entry into this competition constitutes your acceptance of these official competition rules.

Zindi is committed to providing solutions of value to our clients and partners. To this end, we reserve the right to disqualify your submission on the grounds of usability or value. This includes but is not limited to the use of data leaks or any other practices that we deem to compromise the inherent value of your solution.

Zindi also reserves the right to disqualify you and/or your submissions from any competition if we believe that you violated the rules or violated the spirit of the competition or the platform in any other way. The disqualifications are irrespective of your position on the leaderboard and completely at the discretion of Zindi.

Please refer to the FAQs and Terms of Use for additional rules that may apply to this competition. We reserve the right to update these rules at any time.

Reproducibility of submitted code

  • If your submitted code does not reproduce your score on the leaderboard, we reserve the right to adjust your rank to the score generated by the code you submitted.
  • If your code does not run you will be dropped from the top 10. Please make sure your code runs before submitting your solution.
  • Always set the seed. Rerunning your model should always place you at the same position on the leaderboard. When running your solution, if randomness shifts you down the leaderboard we reserve the right to adjust your rank to the closest score that your submission reproduces.
  • We expect full documentation. This includes:
  • All data used
  • Output data and where they are stored
  • Explanation of features used
  • A requirements file with all packages and versions used
  • Your solution must include the original data provided by Zindi and validated external data (if allowed)
  • All editing of data must be done in a notebook (i.e. not manually in Excel)
  • Environment code to be run. (e.g. Google Colab or the specifications of your local machine)
  • Expected run time for each notebook. This will be useful to the review team for time and resource allocation.

Data standards:

  • Your submitted code must run on the original train, test, and other datasets provided.
  • If external data is allowed, external data must be freely and publicly available, including pre-trained models with standard libraries. If external data is allowed, any data used should be shared with Zindi to be approved and then shared on the discussion forum. Zindi will also make note of the external data available on the data page.
  • Packages:
  • You must submit a requirements file with all packages and versions used.
  • If a requirements file is not provided, solutions will be run on the most recent packages available.
  • Custom packages in your submission notebook will not be accepted.
  • You may only use tools available to everyone i.e. no paid services or free trials that require a credit card.

Consequences of breaking any rules of the competition or submission guidelines:

  • First offence: No prizes or points for 6 months (probation period). If you are caught cheating, all individuals involved in cheating will be disqualified from the challenge(s) you were caught in and you will be disqualified from winning any competitions or Zindi points for the next six months.
  • Second offence: Banned from the platform. If you are caught for a second time your Zindi account will be disabled and you will be disqualified from winning any competitions or Zindi points using any other account.
  • Teams with individuals who are caught cheating will not be eligible to win prizes or points in the competition in which the cheating occurred, regardless of the individuals’ knowledge of or participation in the offence.
  • Teams with individuals who have previously committed an offence will not be eligible for any prizes for any competitions during the 6-month probation period.

Monitoring of submissions

  • We will review the top 20 solutions of every competition when the competition ends.

We reserve the right to request code from any user at any time during a challenge. You will have 24 hours to submit your code following the rules for code review (see above). Zindi reserves the right not to explain our reasons for requesting code.

  • If you do not submit your code within 24 hours you will be disqualified from winning any competitions or Zindi points for the next six months. If you fall under suspicion again and your code is requested and you fail to submit your code within 24 hours, your Zindi account will be disabled and you will be disqualified from winning any competitions or Zindi points with any other account.

Qualifying Criteria

Teams may win in one challenge category, and are encouraged to enter only one

  • Participants may compete individually or in teams of up to four people.
  • The teams will be judged based on their ranking on the dedicated Zindi leaderboard at the time of competition close.
  • All participants in the hackathon must be registered students (undergraduate or graduate) at the university they represent. Lecturers, University staff, and alumni may participate in a mentorship or advisory capacity.
  • Teams cannot collaborate or share information with each other.
  • You may not win if you have been employed, interned or been associated with the host of this challenge.
  • All solutions must use machine learning, but teams are permitted and encouraged to use exploratory data analysis in building their solutions.
  • All solutions must use publicly-available, open-source packages only.
  • Solutions must use only the allowed and available datasets.
  • Participants caught cheating or breaking any competition rules will be immediately disqualified from the competition.
  • Universities caught cheating or allowing teams to cheat will be immediately disqualified from the competition.
  • The winning code must be submitted to Zindi for review and validation immediately at the close of the competition. In the interest of logistics, code review will take place only after the competition has closed and winners have been announced.
  • Zindi will only award one prize per university and per country; if a university or country would be eligible to win more than one prize, we will award them the higher-value prize.

The evaluation metric for this challenge is Accuracy.

Your submission should look like:

ID              target   
ID_LKSVPNYMTR      2    
ID_O7N8Y918YH      0     

Where ignore is 0, decline is 1 and accept is 2 for a dispatch.

Please make sure to submit integers and not floats.


In order to win, you must:

  • be present at an UmojaHack Africa event
  • be currently enrolled as a student at an African university
  • have your affiliated university listed on your Zindi profile
  • Zindi will only award one prize per university and per country; if a university or country would be eligible to win more than one prize, we will award them the higher-value prize.

1st Place: Individual prize/team - $850 and university prize $1750

2nd Place: $550

3rd Place: $350

Standard Bank will invite the top 3 teams to a career day where they will introduce you to recruitors.


This hackathon will run from 9:00 GMT on Saturday, 27 March to 16:29 GMT on Sunday, 28 March.

Follow all the action and updates on YouTube.


08:00 GMT Welcome and orientation and introduction to our sponsors.

08:45 GMT A short introduction to each challenge so you can decide which challenge to follow.

09:00 GMT Competition opens (note that users can sign up for a competition and join teams before the time)

09:00 GMT Tutorials on how to get started with each challenge will be shared on YouTube and the discussion forum

10:00 GMT Q&A session with a Zindi data scientist (Amy) answering any questions you may have about the challenge on YouTube. Post your questions on the discussion or Twitter and tag us.

12:00 GMT Chat with NVIDIA and Sendy, come prepared with questions

14:00 GMT Chat with Old Mutual


08:00 GMT Welcome back

08:15 GMT Q&A session with a Zindi data scientist (Amy) answering any questions you may have about the challenge on YouTube. Post your questions on the discussion or Twitter and tag us.

12:00 GMT Chat with a Zindi ambassador

14:30 GMT Final address and the count down starts to the end of the hackathon.

15:00 GMT Submissions close

15:30 GMT Private leaderboard is revealed and announcement of international winners and prizes.