By Mark Kawalya
A $525,000 grant agreement has been signed by the African Development Bank and the Africa Fintech Network (AFN) which will set up an online portal dubbed the Africa Fintech Hub that will serve as a one-stop shop for all financial technology activities in Africa.
Funding for and technical assistance to AFN will be provided by the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI) to host and run the African Fintech Hub.
The hub will enable fintech associations in Africa to pool resources and information, build partnerships, and strengthen relationships while offering a showcase of the strides that African fintechs are making, including those led or owned by women.
The African Fintech Hub will be implemented through a partnership between AFN and the Centre for Financial Regulation and Inclusion (Cenfri), which will be responsible for providing technical support for the development of the hub alongside promoting knowledge creation, research, and related innovative initiatives.
Director General of the African Development Bank’s Nigeria Country Department, Lamin Barrow, emphasized the necessity of the banks support for the project, noting that it would strengthen the fintech ecosystem in Africa, leverage partnerships, and boost overall competitiveness in the digital world.
“At the African Development Bank, we recognize that we have a major role to play in helping to create a robust, efficient, and sustainable fintech ecosystem across the continent. We are accelerating the delivery of our top five strategic priorities through our various innovative interventions. These have helped improve access to digital infrastructure, including information and communications technology linkages to landlocked countries and broadband internet services. The need to leapfrog barriers and scale up inclusive digital financial solutions to accelerate economic resilience across Africa has become even more urgent.”
Together with its partners, the African Development Bank launched the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility, to make catalyst investments for supporting innovative ideas like the African Fintech Hub Project, which is purposed to expand access and accelerate usage of digital financial solutions that mitigate some of the problems faced on the African continent.
Dr. Segun Aina, President of Africa Fintech Network, commended the Bank for supporting the initiative, saying, “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 support, and promote innovative technologies within the financial services sector across Africa and beyond. “