Unleashing Africa’s fintech, digital capital heralds 3iAfrica Summit opening

Speakers at the opening of the maiden 3iAfrica summit echoed the urgency of forming strategic alliances to unleash capital in the financial technology and digital sector of the continent’s economy to spur development.

Such alliance, is to stimulate investments in digital infrastructure, extended mobile network coverage and establish broadband networks for widespread fintech adoption and financial inclusion in underserved areas.

Doing so, the speakers said would be important in revamping digital financial services in support of Africa’s socio-economic transformation.

The three-day summit being held in Accra between 13 and 15 May is on the theme, ‘Unleashing the FinTech and digital economic potential of Africa.’

It is under the auspices of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Development Bank Ghana (DBG), in partnership with the Monetary Authority of Singapore through its subsidiary, Elevandi.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, Ghana’s Finance Minister, underscored the power of fintech in realising the p
otential in effecting substantial change on the continent.

That requires concerted efforts and strategic alliances among various stakeholders, including governments, regulatory bodies, financial institutions, technology firms, and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).

‘We must also transcend national boundaries and form strategic partnerships spanning sectors, industries and jurisdictions to make meaningful progress,’ Dr Amin Adam, said.

‘Undoubtedly, for Africa to realise our development ambitions, we must all coalesce around an African agenda that delivers capital and leverage public-private partnerships, venture capital, impact investing, and donor funding,’ he added.

On the part of Ghana, the Minister said the government remained resolute in nurturing a vibrant fintech ecosystem, including establishing a regulatory framework conducive to fintech innovation. 

Dr Ernest Addison, Governor, Bank of Ghana, noted that the continent had the fertile grounds to accelerate the digitalisation agenda across the co
ntinent, but required concrete initiatives and partnerships that would unlock investments in fintechs.

That, he said, would enable affordable and safe instant cross-border payments, and empower fintechs to drive Africa’s economic transformation agenda by committing to a sound regulatory environment.

A cross-border investment in the fintech sector, the Governor said would also help advance digital public infrastructure, and bridge the financing gap for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), including the creative arts industries.

Providing some statistics, Mr Ravi Menon, a former Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, stated that four out of every five people in Africa used mobile phone, and nearly one out of two have access to the internet.

He also noted that governments in Africa were prioritising digitalisation, and financial inclusion, through regulatory sandboxes and innovation practices, and likely to be the fastest growing fintech market in the world.

Nonetheless, he said it
was important for deepened collaboration among all sector players to address the issues of digital identity, cross-border connectivity and payments, and the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in driving financial inclusion.

Source: Ghana News Agency