The two-day festival provided a platform for connection, collaborations and exchange of ideas between Africa and Asia in the area of financial technology and innovation. Modelled after the Singapore Fintech Festival, the afro-Asia FinTech Festival targets policymakers, industry leaders, entrepreneurs and researchers across Africa, Asia and other parts of the globe. It also featured visionary speakers and icons from both continents.
The Talking Points from Chief Officer, Financial Services at Safaricom, Sitovo Lopokoiyit:
The power of the mobile phone is immense. The small pocket- size gadget has had a significant contribution to socioeconomic development around the world. In 2018, mobile technologies and services generated $3.9 trillion of economic value (4.6% of GDP) globally, a contribution that will reach $4.8 trillion (4.8% of GDP) by 2023 as countries increasingly benefit from the improvements in productivity and efficiency brought about by increased take-up of mobile services. Increased Internet penetration and ubiquity of the mobile phone have opened up numerous opportunities for businesses to deliver more innovative digital products and services. At 83 per cent, Kenya is leading in share of mobile phone internet traffic overtaking Nigeria, which was at the top in 2017. With over 100 FinTech products in the country, the FinTech industry in Kenya has attracted huge investments over the last years and is estimated to be worth around 1Billion USD by year 2020. This presents exciting opportunities for us to tap into the power of the mobile phone to deliver relevant – and in some cases crucial – services. Over the last few years, we have been exploring further avenues for collaboration in the FinTech sector, tapping into the success of M-PESA over the last decade to launch mobile savings and credit products with partners such Commercial Bank of Africa (M-Shwari & Fuliza) and KCB Group (KCB-M-PESA).