Safaricom has announced a Kshs.5 million sponsorship towards the inaugural Afro-Asia FinTech Festival 2019- ‘Fintech in the Savannah’. The two day festival will be co-hosted by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).It is themed: ‘Sustainable Finance; Inclusive and green.’
The festival will be held at the Kenya school of Monetary studies on 15th and 16th July 2019 for the first time in the region. It will provide a platform for connections, collaborations and exchange of ideas between Africa and Asia and also seek to explore sustainable financial services innovations from emerging Afro-Asian Markets.
“The festival is a great platform for us as it presents opportunities to showcase the progress that Safaricom has made over the years towards financial technology and to interact with peers in fintech across the globe,” said Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, chief financial services officer, Safaricom. “Two years ago, we opened up our Daraja API portal giving over 16,000 developers an opportunity to integrate their businesses with M-Pesa seamlessly. This is in line with our strategy to deepen financial inclusion and give developers a chance to come up with new innovations,” said Sitoyo.
“We are indeed delighted to host such a unique event which shows where we are as an African country in the spectrum of Fintech, we are at the front,” said Dr. Patrick Njoroge, Governor, Central Bank of Kenya. “We are the pacesetters and we are not just excited about technology but the difference it is making for millions of people in Africa and billions around the world,” he added.
The event which seeks to bring together over 5,000 participants, policy makers, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators and researchers across the world is modelled after the Singapore fintech festival. It will provide a platform for players to exchange ideas, forge partnerships and nurture thriving fintech ecosystems.
Some of the topics that will be discussed include: artificial intelligence, big data, cyber security, technology risks, social impacts (SME financing, financial literacy and inclusion, sustainable finance and spirit of innovation among other key areas in fintech.
Kenya is one of the African countries that has grown significantly in technology and is seen as a lucrative market for fintechs. Last year, two Kenyan companies,Cellulant, and Tala emerged among the top 50 emerging fintech companies in the world in the KPMG FinTech100 report.