The Road Less Travelled Leads To Democratising Retail in Zambia

Sara Drawwater
Inside Infobwana
28 April 2022
It's Woman Crush Wednesday and to day we feature on of our own, Julia Brown, Operations Director right here at Infobwana. Discover how and why she moved to Zambia in 1976 and her role in bringing the Bwana platform to where it is today.

So how does a young English woman from the small town of Boston in rural Lincolnshire (UK) end up getting married in Lusaka in 1981, saying ‘I do’ to a Zambian man with two small children? 

Julia Brown was always a round peg in a square hole and her ticket away from the things she didn’t like about the UK was to work in Africa. The role she applied for in Tanzania didn’t come through and although disappointed, in 1976, she accepted a role in Zambia instead. 

Julia always took the road less travelled and in her position as systems analyst at the University of Zambia, she interviewed Joe Brown for the position of Senior Programmer. Sparks flew, he got the job and they have been a formidable team since, supporting each other in adventures some people would call crazy!

The New Bwana Platform owes a lot to that unquestionable support they have for each other and their ability to push through unpopular opinion. Joe was the visionary, Julia the one who got the tools out. When people couldn’t fathom how they were ever going to make a success of a tech lead business in Zambia, Julia asked, ‘Why not?’ As they invested time and personal financial resources in Infobwana, Julia was the optimistic Operations Director that helped carve out something from nothing.

Today Julia is most excited about how digital transformation can democratise retail in Zambia. • •

One Zambia, one nation