Friday, April 12, 2019 06.25AM /
Ottoabasi Abasiekong for Proshare WebTV
The Lagos Business School in partnership with Insight2Impact during the week hosted a seminar focused on the theme “Platforms and the Future of Financial Services In a Digital Nigeria”.
It brought together stakeholders in financial services, technology, academia, services industry, telecommunications, e-commerce and the fintech industry amongst others.
Giving the keynote speech at the event Dr Olayinka David-West, the Academic Director of the LBS, gave an overview of “Platforms in Africa: Trends, Opportunities and Challenges”.
In her presentation she highlighted the fact that there were 675 platforms in Sub-Saharan Africa dominated by e-commerce.
She said that the three major cities in Africa that have been central to activities for digital platforms include; Cape Town, South Africa, Lagos, Nigeria and Nairobi, Kenya.
Looking at the ownership model of the platforms, Dr David-West said some are indigenous home-grown, while the likes of NASPERS, Rocket Internet, Jovago and One Media are holding companies.
She identified the following as constraints to Digital platforms in Africa:
For the opportunities in Africa, David-West identified the following areas:
· Platform-based enterprises
· Catalyze market and advance economic development
· Digital job creation relying on an extremely entrepreneurial, tech-savvy and young population
· Digital inclusion that relies on ubiquitious mobile penetration.
Mr Herman Smit, Technical Director and Head, Client Services, Insight2Impact speaking on the “Future of Financial Services in a Digital Nigeria” said Nigeria had a compelling case in the area of digital platform creation.
He said out of the eight(8) African countries that Insight2Impact studied, Nigeria was the second largest with 87 active digital platforms, with 76% of them operating as home-grown solutions.
Mr Smit said online shopping dominated the digital platforms in Nigeria, with 23 out of the 87 offering additional financial services and insurance.
The Insight2Impact Technical Director said Nigeria recorded the highest number of home-grown platforms from the survey carried out in the 8 African countries, employing 2.72% of the population.
The seminar also featured case studies by business leaders in the digital platform space namely; Mr Raphael Afaedor, CEO SupermartNG, Maria Rotilu General Manager, Branch Nigeria and Mr Sanni Murtala, Co-Founder Wesabi.
Nigeria’s digital ecosystem is evolving and experiencing rapid adoption of technology and innovation, with dynamic hubs, hackathon sessions and a growing fintech ecosystem.
With the right regulatory environment and effective collaboration amongst stakeholders, Nigeria, participants agreed, has great prospects in leading Africa in the area of creating robust platforms and financial services for a nascent digital-friendly African economy.