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3i Africa Summit inspires the fintech industry, highlights the sector’s huge potential

The Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) has underscored the need for fintechs to have the ability to navigate regulatory requirements and meet compliance standards

Harnessing the power of technology, sharing the African fintech narrative, and creating an environment for fintechs to thrive.

These and other issues of innovation and digitalisation were top of mind for speakers at the opening and day one of the three-day 2024 3i summit held at the Accra International Conference Center.

To unleash the FinTech and digital economic potential of Africa, Dr Ernest Addison, Governor of the Bank of Ghana, underscored the need for fintechs to have the ability to navigate regulatory requirements and meet compliance standards.

“Against this background, the goal of the 3i Africa Summit is simple yet audacious, and that is, to share the African fintech narrative and discuss the opportunities and challenges on how to employ digital technology, as well as enhance collaboration among policymakers, investors and innovators to advance the economic prosperity of the African continent and its partners”

Dr Addison also said there is a need to address the information gap between investors and fintech startups to stimulate the payment ecosystem.

He pointed to high mobile phone penetration coupled with a pool of local technology talents, which has resulted in various fintech solutions that have expanded access to financial services for the unbanked and the underserved on the continent.

“Mobile money, a game-changer product that is central to most digital payment innovations in African countries, is enabling e-commerce and serving as an affordable solution for merchant acceptance of digital payments.”

Cross-border payment transactions within Africa are still quite expensive, and only 35% of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa has access to banking services. These were other points of concern for speakers.

“The potential is huge, and the enablers are in place. But it is not a given that Africa’s FinTech revolution is predestined,” said Ravi Menon, Singapore’s ambassador for climate action and senior adviser, National Climate Change Secretariat.

Menon drew on statistics he was familiar with, and citing the BCG report, he noted that Africa is likely to be the fastest-growing fintech market in the world between 2023 and 2030.

“Fintech revenues are expected to rise by 13 times, compared to the global average of six times. Africa is on the cusp of a FinTech revolution that will transform the lives of hundreds of millions of people.,” Menon said.

The three-day summit from 13 May to 15 May has brought together heads of state, finance ministers from across the continents, governors of central banks, and other stakeholders in the fintech industry. 

This year’s event is on the theme, “Unleashing the Fintech and Digital Economic Potential of Africa” 

Reporting By Nana Oye Ankrah in Accra

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