Monday, December 10, 2018 6.30PM / Bukola Akinyele, Proshare WebTV
At the 2018 Africa Fintech Festival, Mr Patrick Akinwuntan CEO Ecobank Nigeria gave a keynote presentation on “Digitization and Africa”.
He said “Looking at Africa we are talking about 1.3 billion people, currently about 350 million unbanked active adults, engaging in commercial activities but not necessarily formally integrated within the financial ecosystem.”
Speaking further, he alluded to the fact that Africa was an economy of $1.6trillion, with high consumer spending business currently dominated massively by cash transactions in the range of 95%, unique mobile subscribers of about 400million, and broad band improving currently at 38%.
The Ecobank Nigeria CEO shared that Africa had more than 50% of its population, under the age of 30 vibrant and ready to go.
Mr Akinwuntan stressed that despite the infrastructural challenges, the ubiquity of the mobile phone and the ability to reach household with services in various segments be it identification, security, economic advancement, health, education, sport, power to connect everyone is possible in Africa today.
On the challenge in the power sector, he asserted that there was an opportunity to leverage on the solar and renewable energy.
For digital financial services in Africa, he harped on the ability to make payment, with connectivity and broadband across the continent.
Akinwuntan described Lagos State as a model of progress in modernization and in development and transformation.
“The government is here to transform the pace of development in Lagos State and across the country, but the power and connectivity between the citizenry, governance, and the government is strengthened that you cannot escape paying tax in Lagos state”. He said
The Bank CEO said whether you pay as an employee, tricycle driver, tax collector that bond can actually expand the base of the connection between the citizenry and the government by leveraging on digital platforms to ensure that the tax space and the distribution of wealth for medical services, security is actually enhanced.
He shared that there was an opportunity to improve financial inclusion as seen in Kenya through the adoption of mobile money,that enables penetration and gives room to scaling the level of participation in the financial system.
He said, as we can see in Kenya, collaboration with the likes of CBA and Equity Banks, Telcos, and Safaricoms has ensured that the number of bank accounts in the country now is more than the mobile money wallet in the country. But the mobile money wallet first took the curve and raise ahead of bank accounts.
According to him Nigeria has been making progress with broadband penetration, and Rwanda is well known where the percentage of the GDP digital payment has grown from less than 1% in 2011 to over 30% in 2018. It is probably the most subject matter for foreign direct investment into the East African nation.
He urged the Africa Fintech Network to facilitate the advocacy for the governments, to support the huge opportunities that Fintech provides in the region.