The African Development Bank has signed a $525,000 grant agreement with Africa Fintech Network (AFN) for the setup of the Africa Fintech Hub, an online portal and digital platform that will enable fintech associations across Africa to pool resources and knowledge, strengthen relationships and partnerships, as well as showcase the work of fintech on the continent, including those which are female-led or owned.
The African Fintech Hub will be delivered through a strategic partnership between AFN and the Centre for Financial Regulation and Inclusion (Cenfri), which will provide technical support in the development of the Hub, as well as promote research, knowledge creation and other innovative initiatives.
The Director General of the African Development Bank’s Nigeria Country Department, Lamin Barrow, says that they recognize that they have a major role to play in helping to create a robust, efficient and sustainable fintech ecosystem across the continent. He explains that they are accelerating the delivery of their High 5 strategic priorities through their various innovative interventions.
He further explains that the diverse innovative interventions have helped improve access to digital infrastructure, including Information and Communications Technology linkages to landlocked countries and broadband internet services. He reiterates that the need to leapfrog barriers and scale up inclusive digital financial solutions to accelerate economic resilience across Africa has become even more urgent.
The President of Africa Fintech Network, Dr Segun Aina, commends the Bank for supporting the initiative and expresses their excitement about the 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 the support and to promote innovative technologies within the financial services sector across Africa and beyond.
The Coordinator of ADFI, Sheila Okiro, says the Bank, through the partnership of the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility, is delighted to support the project to strengthen the fintech sector, furthering their work to leverage technology to contribute to closing the financial inclusion gap and creating employment across Africa.
Although fintechs have great potential to contribute to digital financial inclusion across the continent, the African fintech sector significantly lags behind those in other regions such as Latin America and South-East Asia. Survey further reveals that less than 15% of fintechs are owned by women. Based on the result of the survey, AFN will develop and apply gender indicators and lenses as a core part of the project implementation.