Nigerian tech start-ups received approximately $109 million venture capital funding in 2016, representing a whopping 81 percent of the $366 million channeled to the African continent, according to Edward George, country head, UK Representative Office & head of group research at Ecobank in a paper, “The Fintech Landscape in Africa” he presented in Nairobi May 22.
He said South African tech companies took the second position attracting about $97 million while Kenyan companies got $93 million.
George noted that fintech is riding the wave of the mobile revolution and that over the past decade mobile phone usage has surged across Africa, rising from 87 million unique users in 2005 to an estimated 772 million in 2016.
He, however, said that the financial inclusion has lagged behind, with only 28 percent of Africans having bank accounts.
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“Mobile banking and e-wallets are breaking the logjam, offering a range of alternative payment, lending and savings services, which have boosted the overall financial inclusion rate,” he said adding that nearly all the growth in financial inclusion since 2011 has been due to mobile banking services to the extent that Africa accounts for round half of all mobile wallets in the world with about 100 million of them active.
He said Africa fintechs are starting taking a leadership role, leveraging new tech to remove frictions in African economies, and that about 314 hubs in 93 countries in 42 cities are active.
South Africa leads in the number of hubs with 54, followed by Egypt 28, Kenya 27, Nigeria 23, Morocco 21, and Ghana 16.