Working in close collaboration with the Africa FinTech Network (AFN), the Mauritius Africa FinTech Hub (MAFH) hosted and successfully delivered the 3rd Africa Fintech Festival (AFF) as a fully virtual series in 2021 around the theme of FinTech, Sustainability and Innovation – The power trio to fast-forward Africa’s growth. The first part of the series was held on the 16th June 2021 and concluded with a 3-days event running from the 13th-15th October 2021. The main event was sponsored by Peach Payments, IPT, Switzerland Global Enterprise, MCB, Synthesis and Care Ratings Africa.
In 2019, Mauritius won the right to host the 3rd edition of the AFF, a concept created by the AFN. The association was awarded the hosting rights of this strategic initiative to drive and support the growth of a Pan-African FinTech ecosystem, and to facilitate open collaboration for the purposes of driving innovation and financial inclusion in Africa.
After three successful editions, it was announced that there will be a post-AFF event for Mauritius early 2022 for a formal flag relay, leading to the main 2022 AFF edition to be hosted by the Egypt FinTech Association (EFA).
Some key achievements from this series so far have been to showcase Pan-African FinTech solutions & ecosystems, drive partnerships and funds for FinTech development, discuss regulations to enable and unblock FinTech development, and provide learning opportunities to all.
Commenting on the success of the event, and thanking all the stakeholders from the AFN and viewers for having participated in this 3rd edition, CEO of MAFH, Mr Michal Szymanski stated, “It has been an absolute honour to represent Mauritius as a host and to be part of the AFN. We are all working to develop our own ecosystems but it’s really great for us to see everyone working together to develop Africa holistically in this journey.”
This virtual conference series comprised of keynotes, panel discussions and fireside chat interviews revolving around the following main themes: FinTech Innovation, Skills & Capacity Building initiatives, Regulatory & Policy strategies, and Investment & Deal Flow opportunities.
The event was open to all the stakeholders in the FinTech and allied fields including entrepreneurs, SMEs, startups, corporations, universities, financial service providers, tech companies, investors and regulators.
MAFH is happy to report the following key statistics around this event series conducted over the year: +1400 attendees from +90 countries to listen and engage with +100 key leader speakers across pan-Africa from private & public enterprises, brought together to showcase innovations, discuss some pressing challenges and opportunities in FinTech. As a result, multiple tangible potential solutions and ways forward were debated and presented for this industry, in order for it to keep growing in a sustainable and inclusive manner over the African continent.
Some key topics were addressed as follows:
● From building to bridging socio-economic ecosystems in Africa
● Fintechs to the rescue –building new roads to compliance
● Designing and Scaling innovation organisations In Africa
● Scaling-up in Africa – Keys to successful Pan-African expansion
● Investing in Africa: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly
● Funding: The Marriage with clauses?
● Building a blockchain technology ecosystem in Africa
● Industry First: Building the skills & marketplace for growth
● Building Fintech’s Champions of Tomorrow (FFC)
● Drivers of digital transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa
● Outlook on insurance products in Africa
● Regulating for Innovation
Looking forward to the post-AFF edition and commenting on it, Noha Shaker, Secretary General of the EFA and elected Vice President of the AFN said, “It is an honour and a pleasure to be hosting all the Africa FinTech ecosystem in Egypt next year. We have a lot of exciting activities and initiatives to announce, none of which have been carried out in any part of Africa like the Green Finance Hub that we are going to be launching in Egypt in a few months’ time with key players around the ecosystem from Africa. We are going to have activities in multiple cities so we are not just going to be in Cairo all the time, there is a lot of sightseeing that can be done on the side of the Festival.”
On a concluding note, she said, “The presence of the African government of course, and regulators are going to be one thing that we cannot miss on, the Central Bank in Egypt, the Financial Regulatory Authority and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority which have done enormous work over the past three-four years to actually enact laws, to build a regulatory environment that is supportive to FinTech and the financial sector now is actually committing to changes related to Green Finance. We’ve had a couple of unicorns coming out of Cairo this year, during COVID, we see investments that were actually channelled into Egyptian FinTech companies have surged and grown, despite the fact that it’s been going down and there was a significant reduction in other parts of the world.”