Fintech Association of Nigeria, Partners UNECA to formally Launch Africa Fintech Network

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Monday, April 01, 2019 09.00AM / Fintech Nigeria Press Release

The Fintech Association of Nigeria, FintechNGR having successfully established a model for the establishment of national fintech associations in Africa leads the charge in the formation of Africa Fintech Network that was formally launched at the 52nd Session of United Nation Economic Commission for Africa Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development held from 20th to 26th March 2019 at Palmarie Hotel, Marrakech, Morocco.

The launch of the Network that was one of the most prominent and well-attended side events at the Conference was co-hosted by Dr Segun Aina, President, FintechNGR  and had in attendance the Executive Secretary of ECA, Dr Vera Songwe, Ugandan Minister of Finance, Planning & Economic Development, Twamuhabwa Wilson, Former Nigerian Minister for Communications Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson, representatives of the Africa Development Bank, Dr Uche Olowu, President and Mr Seye Awojobi, the Registrar of Chartered Institutes of Bankers of Nigeria, representatives of Africa Fiintech Network member countries and other notable individuals from across the continent

Dr Vera Songwe while launching the Network alluded to the fact that the objectives of the Network are critical to building the Africa we want and aligns with the Commission’s digitalized Africa goals, as such, she welcome partnership with the Network towards accelerating digitization of the continent. According to her “Africa Fintech Network holds the key to the digitalized Africa as all nations in the continent must join the Fintech in Africa agenda”.

Dr Segun Aina, President, Africa Fintech Network, during his remarks said that the network was created to unify fintech regulation across the continent, foster collaboration and shared development at the national levels, support the attainment of continent goals such as Agenda 2063 and African Continental Free Trade Area of AU, Sustainable Development Goal as well as promote indigenous solutions for the peculiar Africa challenges.

According to him “African governments and development partners are formulating strategies and policies to create an inclusive financial sector but every country should have its own Fintech Association to coordinate and accelerate the Fintech growth as a strategic driver of government initiatives”.

According to Dr Omobola Johnson in her remarks, "The biggest challenge for fintech companies today is regulation and policy, and the fact that many central banks do not innovate and do not understand what it takes to scale and build a technology company”

The digital ID for financial inclusion and the launch of Africa Fintech Network sessions at the conference also featured speakers such as  Esaie Diei, CEO, EFInA, Oluwaseun Adesanya, Group Head, Innovation and Strategy, Systemspecs, Ese Phillip, Product Manager, Smile ID, SeunFolorunso, Admin Secretary, FintechNGR, Anna Ekelodu, Executive Directors, Afrilabs, ZianahMuddu, General Secretary, Africa Fintech Network, Charlen Chen, Co-founder, Bitpesa,  and Hohete Arefeaine, President, Ethiopia Fintech Association.

You would recall that the establishment of the Africa Fintech Network was formalized and earlier launched on 4th December 2018 at the maiden edition of the Africa Fintech Festival organized by the FintechNGR and other partners during the opening session of the Festival in Lagos-Nigeria in the presence of delegates from ten African countries and representatives of IMF, UNECA, AFDB, Ecobank Group, Office of the Vice President of Federal Republic of Nigeria and other leading continental and global institutions.

The side event ended with the announcement of Uganda as the host of 2019 Africa Fintech Festival in Kampala from 5th to 6th November as the Nigeria Fintech Week would hold a week before the Festival in Lagos from 27th October to 1st November 2019.

In the same vein, DrAina, during a keynote interview on “Why Fintechs are Scary “ at the 2019 Africa Pay ID & Expo held in Marrakech Morocco from 29th to 30th March indicated that the advent of mobile technology, internet facility and the youthful population of the African continent are great buffers for digitalizing the continent. He equally reiterated the significant roles of Fintechs in the digitalization agenda as he said fintechs are innovative and nimble and provide more suitable services to consumers with attributes such as value-driven, service quality, efficiency, low pricing, convenience and security.

He concluded by proffering solutions for bridging the gap between the fintechs, incumbents, regulators and other interested stakeholders as partnership, adequate provision of digital infrastructure, closing the gender gap, education, reskilling and up-skilling, removal of legal and border policy barriers (African-wide regulation), mapping and integrated national digital transformation roadmap amongst others.

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