IE Africa Club hosts Digitalizing Africa for the Future
How the birthplace of Fintech adapts to the latest technologies.
Africa is often considered the birthplace of Fintech, which is why the IE Africa Club gathered a group of individuals that are well-versed in the industry to discuss Digitalizing Africa in the Future.
Martin Boehm, Dean of IE Business School, mediated the event that saw insiders from the African fintech market talk about the next step in digitizing the continent’s financial industry, offering unique economic opportunities that can help combat regional issues such as poverty.
“Creating an enabling environment that opens up the financial sector’s value chain and promotes efficiency gains across Africa, fintech is improving financial inclusion and stimulating innovation and productivity amongst major sectors,” Boehm said.
The panel included: Abu Bakr Cassim, an International MBA alum who now has an angel investor network called Jozi Angels; Lydiah Kemunto Bosire, founder and CEO of 8B Education Investments which uses fintech to support African students; and, Mark Elliot, President of the Southern Africa division of Mastercard.
The speakers agreed not only has fintech helped many businesses prosper in Africa, but it has also provided benefits for individuals with their own economic situations.
“At a retail level, Fintech enables people to earn a living to protect themselves during a crisis, to manage the ups and downs of incomes…these are the problems that fintech was created to solve. On the African continent particularly, these tools are essential nowadays due to the precariousness of daily existence,” according to Bosire.
Fintech has combined two key sectors: the telecommunications sector and the financial sector, to work on problems that require digitized solutions.
“The main advancement that we have seen is an increase in activity of contact list and mobile payment, along with ecommerce, essentially converging a few different business sectors that will continue over the next few years.”
Abu Bakr Cassim
The audience asked questions about regional situations, customer protection, regulations to encourage foreign investments, and how innovators have developed tools.
“I think we’ve got some really interesting opportunities in Africa, which may be unique in the way that the collaboration between the key protagonists in the fintech industry and how the initiatives come together in support of financial inclusion,” said Elliot.