Akinwuntan Calls for Collaboration to Enhance Digitisation in Africa

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Nume Ekeghe

The Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Patrick Akinwuntan, has called for more collaboration between governments, private sector businesses and fintechs to collaborate more to evolve a digitalised continent.

He made this call yesterday, at the Africa Fintech Festival in Lagos, where representatives of African fintechs experts and representatives from various African countries gathered to deliberate on how to drive to transform, enable and facilitate continental technology drive.

Akinwuntan said: “Africa is a vast continent with great potential to be realised. We have over 1.3 billion people with a combined GDP of $1.5 trillion and an economy where over 95 per cent of transactions are conducted in cash, which offers a tremendous opportunity that we can harness via digitisation.

“Furthermore, there are over 444 million unique mobile phone subscribers and consumers spend upwards of $1.4 trillion annually.

“These ubiquitous mobile devices are the obvious tool to unleashing the power of digital across our continent and with the rising penetration of mobile broadband there are more possibilities ahead.”

He added: “The opportunities in Africa, the real challenge is to have a change of mind-set and the will is to actually exceed our expectations.

“So when people talk about infrastructure challenges, we should be remembering the ubiquity of the mobile phone and the ability now to reach every household with services in various segment be it identification, security, economic advancement, health, sports and more, we have the power to connect everyone, we have that in Africa today.”

Furthermore, he stressed the need for more collaboration in the financial sector.

He said: “Everyone has the opportunity and the value of the pie outside the financial of the financial system in Africa is much greater than the pie that is within the financial system.

“So we need to collaborate and why don’t we give our shoulder to the other party to ride on so we can get to the destination much faster so we would be able to have a sustainable ecosystem that unleashes the value of our over 1.3 billion Africans in our continent and the diaspora.

“We need a collaboration of all stakeholders and I cannot over emphasis that at the end of the day, it is an ecosystem and it is more value for more people of a great continent that we so cherish that is Africa.”