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#FintechConf18: Stakeholders call for robust Fintech ecosystems in Nigeria and Africa

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Saturday, January 27, 2018 8.00AM / ProshareWebTV 

Stakeholders at the 2nd National Fintech Conference in Nigeria, agreed that robust Fintech ecosystems were critical for Nigeria and Africa. 

This was the key resolution across all the various panel sessions at the third and final day of the conference in Lagos. 

There was a consensus that with  fintech ecosystems, innovation in the area of viable products that can drive financial inclusion in Nigeria and Africa, will be unleashed. 

In the session on “Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning”, panelists emphasized the need for collaboration between the Industry and Universities, while making a strong case for a retooling and skills development plan that will prepare the continent for the A.I revolution. 

Considering the case of poor penetration of the Insurance Industry in Nigeria (0.26%) panelists exploring the topic “Insurtech”, believed the adoption of technology and innovation by insurance companies, will go a long way in deepening the services across the nation, developing innovative products and tapping into the immense opportunities in the sector. 

For the regulators like the Central Bank of Nigeria, Securities and Exchange Commission and the National Communications Commission, the developments in the fintech space create an opportunity for collaboration with the industry players. At the “Regtech” session panelists identified the regulatory sandbox approach, and the utilization of  analytics, codified and embedded solutions as  areas to be explored, in regulating Fintech. 

One of the most engaging sessions was the panel discourse on “Blockchain and New Opportunities”, with  panelists sharing with stakeholders, the use cases and value of “Blockchain” which include; bringing efficiency to inefficient markets, effective land use administration, asset management, providing a platform for smart contracts and the internet of things. 

Understanding the impact “Blockchain” will have on the critical mass of the Nigerian and African population, the panelists called for increased awareness and proper regulation. 

The prospects for “Fintech & SMEs growth” in the continent featured as a panel session, were key players in the industry believed collaboration amongst the fintech industry players, was vital to achieving scale and the deepening of “financial inclusion”. 

Gender inclusion was also prominent at the conference with the “Women in Fintech” discussing opportunities and the role women can play in deepening the fintech space. 

In the panel session looking at “Building Fintech Ecosystems”  key issues raised was the need for a harmonious relationship between regulators and startups, and the need for Fintech players to build robust ecosystems that will create innovative products for financial services. 

From the various sessions, the  key takeaway was the need for Nigeria and Africa to work assiduously in developing strategic hubs, that could attract key investments and promote innovation in fintech. 

Highlights of the final day of the 2nd National Fintech Conference, was the Startup Nigeria pitch challenge with the “Accounteer” platform  emerging as the overall winner.

 

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