“We are in the midst of an unprecedented revolution in the digital technology – one which is impacting every sector of the economy and social life, bringing people and nations closer together, and making the world a true global village.”
These are the words of Deniece Laurent-Mantey, the director for Africa at the White House Security Council who spoke at the bi-annual Africa Fintech Summit held in Washington D.C. last week. Last year’s summit was held in Cairo.
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Laurent-Mantey’s keynote address centred around growth and expansion trends in Africa’s fintech industry. Attending the summit at the International Trade Centre were African and global fintech stakeholders, including fintech leaders who were in town for a series of spring meetings held by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Further, the United States-Africa investment relationship meant that a summit in D.C. would connect African entrepreneurs with some of the host country’s investors responsible for 62% of the top twenty investment deals in Africa in 2021.
Following Laurent-Mantey’s keynote, various panel sessions took the better part of the day. There were 16 insights-driven sessions focused on fintech hotspots, including embedded finance, investment trends in the industry, web3 and cryptocurrency, diaspora banking and remittances, fintech regulatory best practices, the future of banking, and more.
The expert-led discussions saw participation from over 60 speakers and panellists from across the fintech value chain, including Mike Ogbalu, chief executive of the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPPS), and Omosalewa Adeyemi, global head of partnerships and expansion at Flutterwave.
The spotlight the conversations placed on fintech in Africa was further intensified by an Excellence in Fintech award ceremony that recognised major players in Africa’s tech ecosystem for their contributions to the continent’s technology industry and economy.
The awardees in the different categories were:
- fintech-banking relationships: EcoBank;
- fintech investment: Future Africa;
- cryptocurrency: Paxful;
- blockchain technology: Appzone Group;
- ecosystem research: Briter Bridges;
- cross-border solutions: PAPSS;
- digital banking: TeamApt;
- savings and invest-tech: PiggyVest;
- payments: Paystack;
- insurtech: Turaco;
- fintech and lending: Payhippo;
- embedded fintech: Cellulant;
- fintech infrastructure: Flutterwave; and
- tradetech: AFEX.
The next edition of the Africa Fintech Summit will be held this November in Cape Town, South Africa. Since 2018, the summit has raised more than $20 million in capital for African start-ups.