Kenyan fintech innovators who took part in the 2017 Africa Fintech Unconference held in Ghana this past week, had the chance to learn from each other and network with other Fintech innovators from across the continent.
The first of its kind, the two-day event kicked off on March 23rd, bringing together fintech innovators, thought leaders, banks and other established financial players in the emerging Fintech sector. This was aimed at enabling Fintech companies engage in smarter pan-African partnerships in a fast-moving industry which is ripe for consolidation.
Organized by FIBR, an initiative of BFA and The MasterCard Foundation, and partners Nomanini and Catalyst Fund, attendees of the Unconference included Kenyan firms such as Lendable, PayGo Energy, Umati Capital, Interpay, Musoni, Sokowatch, Farmdrive and Rafode Ltd, in addition to Branch.co (who offer micro financing and credit to emerging markets easily and fast without the barriers of traditional microfinance) and Ecobank.
‘We are looking to the growing fintech market in Ghana as a complement and counterpart to the East Africa Fintech sector, by cultivating, comparing and connecting what is happening in the West and East regional markets. Fintech companies across the continent, including those based in Kenya, are also turning to Ghana as an attractive market to expand into, for which bringing the Unconference to Ghana, was compelling and exciting,” said Amolo Ng’weno, East Africa Regional Director at BFA.
Attendees to the unconference also included:
Some key takeaways about developing strong partnerships from the different sessions were included the fact that for Fintech actors working towards financial inclusion, customers need more than services or products — they need tools in which they can make money “work” in different ways for their needs and how they live.
Also instilled was the best practices for Fintech companies seeking partnerships with established players meaning they need to ensure that the customer needs inform partnership, understanding and defining clear goals, fostering trust and transparency early on, as well as structuring fair upside for each partner.
– – – – –
FIBR is an initiative of BFA in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation to create new ways to connect low-income populations to financial services that meet their needs.
BFA is a global consulting firm specializing in financial services for low-income people. BFA has offices in Boston, New York, Nairobi and Medellín.
The MasterCard Foundation works with visionary organizations to provide greater access to education, skills training and financial services for people living in poverty, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Nomanini means ‘Anytime’ in Siswati. It’ s a South African-based enterprise which provides affordable access to payments for everyone, everywhere.
Catalyst Fund is a philanthropic grant fund at the forefront of Inclusive Fintech, an initiative supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and JPMorgan Chase & Co.