The Africa Fintech Hub, an online site that will operate as a one-stop shop for all fintech operations in Africa, has been established thanks to a $525,000 grant agreement between the African Development Bank and Africa Fintech Network (AFN).
The contract was executed on April 4, 2023.
The Africa Fintech Network will receive financing and technical support from the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI) in order to host and run the Africa Fintech Hub. The hub is a digital platform that will allow fintech associations throughout Africa to pool resources and information, enhance connections and collaborations, and highlight the work of fintech on the continent, especially that of companies that are headed or owned by women.
The Centre for Financial Regulation and Inclusion (Cenfri), which will give technical assistance in the construction of the Hub and encourage research, knowledge production, and other creative activities, and the African Fintech Network (AFN) will collaborate strategically to create the African Fintech Hub.
Lamin Barrow, Director General of the Nigeria Country Department of the African Development Bank, emphasized the significance of the Bank’s support for the project, claiming that it would help to strengthen the fintech ecosystem in Africa and increase competitiveness in the digital world while leveraging partnerships.
“At the African Development Bank, we understand that we must play a significant part in fostering the development of a strong, effective, and long-lasting fintech ecosystem throughout the continent. Through a number of cutting-edge initiatives, we are hastening the accomplishment of our High 5 strategic goals. These have aided in enhancing access to digital infrastructure, including broadband internet services and links for information and communications technology with landlocked nations. It is now even more critical than ever to break down barriers and scale up inclusive digital banking solutions to boost economic resilience throughout Africa.”
The Africa Fintech Hub Project, which aims to increase access to and use of digital financial solutions to meet the needs of all Africans, is one example of an innovative idea that the African Development Bank and its partners launched the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility to support.
President of the Africa Fintech Network, Dr. Segun Aina, praised the Bank for assisting the project.
“We are truly excited about this partnership with the African Development Bank, and the possibilities of working in partnership with Cenfri on multiple initiatives with fintech across Africa to further our mission to drive Africa-led fintech solutions, stimulate information exchange, ideation, and the support and to promote innovative technologies within the financial services sector across Africa and beyond. “
Sheila Okiro, the coordinator of the ADFI, stated that the Bank is pleased “to support this project to strengthen the fintech sector, furthering our work to leverage technology to contribute to closing the financial inclusion gap and creating employment throughout Africa” through the partnership of the ADFI.
The development of payment systems and infrastructure in Ethiopia and the ECOWAS region is now increasing regional interoperability and digital financial infrastructure. In other initiatives, cutting-edge technology is provided to financial sector authorities in Ghana, Rwanda, and Zambia to improve consumer protection.
Additionally, the Facility is funding initiatives to strengthen the distribution of digital micro-insurance to smallholder farmers in Nigeria, Zambia, and Kenya, as well as to develop cyber resilience and lower obstacles to accessing fintech services throughout the continent.
The African fintech sector notably lags behind those of other areas, such as Latin America and South-East Asia, despite the fact that fintechs have a big potential to support digital financial inclusion across the continent.
A survey conducted in 2019 by AFN and Cenfri revealed the necessity of setting up and coordinating local fintech chapters, recruiting new members, highlighting members’ accomplishments, connecting them to market access and investment opportunities, and advocating on members’ behalf before local and regional regulators.
Less than 15% of fintech companies are owned by women, according to the poll. As a key component of the project execution, AFN will create and use gender indicators and lenses based on the survey results.