Wednesday, October 30, 2019 / 05:30 AM/ By Dr Segun Aina / Header Image Credit: WebTV
Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-olu;
Deputy Governor, Financial Systems Stability, Mrs Aishah Ahmed;
Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms Mary Uduk;
Former Ag Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr Mrs Sarah Alade,
Managing Directors of Banks;
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
You are all welcomed to the 2019 Nigeria Fintech Week.
It is reassuring to note the growth and sustenance of the most significant and most impactful Nigeria fintech gathering which started in April 2017 as a one day 1st National Fintech Conference. This was followed by the two days 2nd National Fintech Conference in January 2018 and subsequently the 3rd National Fintech Conference in December 2018 which was integrated into the week-long maiden Africa Fintech Festival held in Lagos. In response to stakeholders demand, the platform has metamorphosed into the Nigeria Fintech Week with the 2 day 4th National Fintech Conference being a prominent part of the week's event.
Significant milestones have been recorded for the Nigerian and African economies, and the fintech ecosystem specifically. For instance the Fintech Association of Nigeria was created during the 1st National Fintech Conference in 2017 which can today boast of over one hundred institutional members from nine sectors of the economy all working together to connect, accelerate and advocate. Similarly the Africa Fintech Network was inaugurated in a grand style during the 3rd National Fintech Conference and maiden Africa Fintech Festival in December 2018. The inauguration was done by the President of African Development Bank and Office of the Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria. We today, less than one year after inauguration, have twenty nine member countries - country National fintech associations in the Africa Fintech Network who have collectively been supportive of continental initiatives such as Afcta and Digital Africa, built global partnerships and recognized by the African Union, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, African Development Bank, Afreximbank and others. These self regulatory organisations have brought needed coordination to the Fintech ecosystem in Nigeria and Africa with linkages to and alliances with similar organisations in other markets.
Indeed Nigeria and Africa have benefited from the power of ecosystems which has been defined by Forbes Africa as " a network of cross industry players who work together to define, build and execute market creating customer and consumer solutions". Forbes Africa went further to allude to the fact that an ecosystem is defined by the depth and breadth of potential collaboration among a set of players.
The Nigeria Fintech Week brings together various organizations and individuals in the disruptive technology ecosystem both within and outside Nigeria. We are happy to have recorded over four thousand participants across various sectors and from over twenty countries in all the continents who have registered to attend different aspects of the week's events.
A number of events are lined up in the week spanning Monday 28th October to Saturday 2nd November 2019. The opener was the Fintech Masterclass for Regulators held yesterday 28th October and attended by eighty participants from nine Nigeria regulatory organisations, some market operators and Fintech startups as well as some of our international participants. It was a huge success with remarkable outcomes.
Later this morning, the Securities and Exchange Commission SEC will be launching on this stage the Roadmap for the Fintech adoption in the Nigeria Capital Market. We acknowledge the vision behind this project which is aimed at promoting and advancing creativity and Innovation through technology and digital adoption in the Nigeria Capital Market. I am very proud of the role played by Fintech Association of Nigeria in this respect. Other events of the Nigeria Fintech Week include the Fintech Awards and VIP Dinner to recognize few institutions that have contributed to the development of Fintech ecosystem in Nigeria; the Microsoft 500+ Developers session; the Accion VentureLab Hackatoon and Demo Day with a $100,000.00- one hundred thousand US dollars- prize tag. The activities also include the TechSpark- the Nigeria Fintech Week student edition to be hosted by the University of Ibadan on 2nd November and attended by over two thousand potential student innovators from various universities across Nigeria. All these events are in additional to ten keynote presentations, nine panel sessions, nine demos, sales pitches, product launches and twenty eight exhibition stands at the Expo Pavilion of the 2day Conference segment of the Nigeria Fintech Week holding today 29th October and tomorrow 30th October.
With the quality, diversity and comprehensiveness of the Nigeria Fintech Week, this annual event has obviously received an overwhelming market acceptance and endorsement as the main fintech and digital stakeholder platform to look forward to in the year. We therefore expect all stakeholders to use the Nigeria Fintech Week as the main annual platform to showcase Nigerians creativity and remarkable exploits in value enhancing fintech products and services.
All the main activities planned for the week are free of any payments by attendees. In this regards, I thank all financial partners and sponsors for their financial support. I equally extend appreciation to all the seventy speakers from across the world, media partners, service providers and of course the organizing team.
As I conclude this address, I urge you to enjoy the events, learn, network and create new market opportunities and partnerships. Please also save the date for the 2020 Nigeria Fintech Week which has been fixed to hold from 26th October to 31st October 2020!
Thank you very much.
Dr Segun Aina OFR
President,Fintech Association of Nigeria
29th October 2019