Africa, UAE Sign MoU to Develop African FinTech Ecosystem  


By Emma Okonji

In order to promote financial inclusion through the acceleration of FinTech across Africa, the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and TechPreneur Africa, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to foster and support the growth and activities of FinTech in the Middle East and African regions.

Announcing the agreement reached between the two groups recently, TechPreneur Africa, a social impact firm focussed on harnessing innovation and entrepreneurship to achieve real economic impact across Africa, said ADGM was the first in the Middle, East and Africa region to have a FinTech regulatory laboratory regime to foster innovation in financial services.

By taking into account the unique business model and risks of the FinTech participant and customising the test boundaries and regulatory requirements accordingly, the ADGM regulatory laboratory allows the participant to develop and test its FinTech proposition in a safe environment, without putting undue regulatory burden on the participant.

FinTech participants admitted into the regulatory laboratory will have access to dedicated regulatory support and guidance, and will have a period of up to two years to develop and test their FinTech proposition.

The Chief Executive Officer of ADGM, Mr. Richard Teng, said: “The new partnership with Technpreneur Africa marks another achievement towards strengthening the connections between FinTech communities, and harnessing synergies in innovations and capabilities through global collaboration. The MEA region has tremendous demand and growth opportunities for financial services.

“We hope that through closer collaboration with like-minded FinTech hubs, we are able to leverage the strengths and expertise of our markets to more efficiently address the needs of the industry and support economic growth and development in the region. This new partnership will open up new avenues and create opportunities for FinTech firms in the Middle East and Africa looking to expand into each other’s markets.”

Techpreneur Africa, who officially launched operations in the African Market in 2015, is delighted at the potential the opportunity presents to African Fintech entrepreneurs, firms and the financial services industry in its drive towards 30 per cent financial inclusion growth by 2020.

During the recent unveiling of the MIT REAP Lagos strategy, the CEO of the firm, Mr. Bolaji Finnih, gave his commitment to the mutual goal of promoting financial inclusion and developing the African Fintech Ecosystem.

Through TechPreneur Africa, African innovators can apply to ADGM’s regulatory laboratory to test their FinTech innovations and prepare to serve the financial markets as regulated FinTech firms, according to both groups that signed the MoU.