AfDB okays $525,000 grant to support African Fintech Network
April 5, 2023291 views0 comments
By Onome Amuge
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has signed a $525,000 dollar agreement to support Africa Fintech Network’s (AFN) Hub project, aimed at promoting digital innovation and financial inclusion in African Countries and ultimately,boost the fintech industry in the continent.
The grant is funded by the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI), inaugurated by the AfDB Group, together with its partners, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Other partners are the Ministry of Finance of Luxembourg, and Agence Française de Développement in 2019, the Ministry of Finance and Economy of France and the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) joining in 2020 and 2022 respectively.
Speaking during the signing in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, Lamin Barrow, the director-general, AfDB, Nigeria country department, said the grant will support the operationalisation of an online digital hub to serve as a repository of knowledge for fintech entities across the continent, and globally.
Barrow also noted that the digital hub, which is to be delivered through a strategic partnership between the Africa Fintech Network and Cenfri, will help to strengthen the fintech ecosystem across Africa and boost the industry’s competitiveness.
The director general reiterated the importance of fintech on the continent among which is to provide powerful, readily available and effective digital financial solutions to help bridge the financial inclusion gap.
He added that more fintech startups were coming to the fore, buoyed by the current digital disruption in the financial sector.
“These companies are leveraging technology to provide innovative financial services, including payment, lending, savings, financial literacy and financial infrastructure services.
“That results in greater efficiency, better service provision and lower costs, “he said.
Barrow also emphasised the relevance of financial inclusion as key to economic empowerment and resilience, particularly for underserved segments of our society.
According to the AfDB director-general, the need to leapfrog barriers and scale up inclusive digital financial solutions to accelerate economic resilience across Africa had become even more urgent.
He quoted Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB’s President, as saying, with the right investments in innovation and smart digital growth, the obstacles to achieving financial inclusion and greater economic opportunity for all would be overcome.
According to Barrow, the hub will enable fintech associations across Africa to pool knowledge, strengthen partnerships and showcase their innovations and impact, including from female-led or owned fintech enterprises.
“It will help enhance coordination among African fintech associations, improve linkages for market access and investment opportunities, for effective advocacy with key public and private stakeholders.
He further stated that the project design is underpinned by detailed needs assessment that informed the value proposition of the AFN Hub as a one-stop knowledge repository.
On his part, Segun Aina, AFN president, thanked AfDB for playing a leading role in supporting the innovative initiative, while pledging the network’s commitment to delivering the project.
“We look forward to building on this productive collaboration going forward, as there is still a lot to be done to unleash the potential of digital inclusion for Africa toward creating the Africa that we want,” Aina said.