AFF, African Fintechs Call for Collaboration to Address Specific Challenges

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Emma Okonji

African Fintech Foundry (AFF), and the entire African Fintech ecosystem, have stressed the need for collaboration among African regulators, legislators, private and public sectors, including the entire Fintech ecosystem in Nigeria and Africa, in order to develop technology solutions that will address specific challenges in Nigeria and Africa.

They made the call recently, during the ‘Big Tech Show’ organised by AFF in Lagos, which brought together some members of the African Fintech ecosystem. 

The Fintech players were of the view that Nigeria and Africa lost out in the first, second and third industrial revolution, insisting that Nigeria and Africa must be part of the ongoing fourth industrial revolution, which is about technology innovation that is driven by knowledge. 

The Fintech players therefore called for collaboration, adding that working in silos will not achieve the desired result.

CEO of Sparkle, a Fintech player, Mr. Uzoma Dozie, said what AFF did with the ‘Big Tech Show’, was to bring African Fintech players together to brainstorm on technology ideas and solutions that would address Africa’s specific challenges. 

“The idea is to create awareness in technology innovation that will make life better for everyone. The ‘Big Tech Show’ will enable African Fintech players to showcase their solutions and collectively develop solutions to address African challenges, instead of working in silos.

“Nigerian Fintech players are doing well in the technology space, but we need to do more through collaboration and that is the idea behind ‘Big Tech Show’. Nigeria has a population of over 200 million people and we have challenges in different sectors of the economy like education, health, transport, manufacturing, banking, telecommunications among others and we need home-grown technology solutions to address them,” Dozie said.

Co-Founder/General Partner, Future Africa, Mr. Inyioluwa Aboyeji, said: “Young entrepreneurs in Nigeria and Africa, need a lot of support, mentorship and encouragement to grow their Fintech business and that is what AFF is trying to achieve through the ‘Big Tech Show’. 

The Fintech ecosystem in Nigeria has been very innovative in the last five years, and the ecosystem has received tremendous support from AFF, which is powered by Access Bank, as well as from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).”

He said with innovation from the Fintech ecosystem, banks were able to serve their customers digitally and in a better way. 

“Fintech players have developed solutions that have made financial transactions in the banking sector seamless and a lot easier, where people can perform different financial transactions from the comfort of their homes and offices, using mobile phones that are internet enabled,” Aboyeji further said.

Group Executive Director, Technology and Operations at Access Bank, Adeolu Bajomo, explained that Nigeria missed out in the first, second and third industrial revolution, insisting that the country cannot miss out in the ongoing fourth industrial revolution. 

“What AFF is doing is to enable the Fintech ecosystem participate effectively in the fourth industrial revolution, which is about technology innovation that is driven by knowledge. We need to collaborate to develop solutions that will solve our collective challenges as Nigerians and Africans, and to make Nigeria the technology hub for digital innovation in Africa,” Bajomo said.

Co-Founder, Bluechip Technologies, Olumide Soyombo, said: “Nigerians have the talents to build technology solutions and the Fintechs are doing well. AFF is investing in talents and people that will drive technology development in Nigeria and Africa.”