Crown Agent’s Bank’s Chief Executive Officer writes for Finance Derivative on the development of fintech in Africa

Published // 9th April 2020

Writing for Finance Derivative, Chief Executive Officer Albert Maasland discusses the growth of fintech in Africa and why the sector must not be overlooked as we navigate through the current crisis and look to the future.

There is no question that the Coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented crisis – and as with other global disasters, emerging and frontier markets are likely to be the most impacted. Yet fintech is one industry that could show resilience, as online services become essential and the use of cash is discouraged worldwide.

Certainly, in Africa, mobile money accounts and mobile wallets now form a fundamental part of the financial ecosystem – a development that represents great opportunity for investors and entrepreneurs, but also from a financial inclusivity perspective. And as financial technology makes strides towards transforming the African start-up landscape, progress must not be lost. Nigeria’s tech scene, for instance, is already beginning to contribute to combating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic – demonstrating that the relevance of digital services and fintech will only grow in coming months.

As we look ahead, it should be remembered how far the emerging markets have come in the last few years in order to remind international stakeholders of their enormous potential and dynamism. In 2019, fintech became Africa’s best funded start-up sector, as technology start-ups that operate in the continent received a total of US$1.3bn in funding – with investors and financial services taking note of the considerable growth and adoption of fintech in Africa.

Africa is set for an impressive decade when it comes to fintech, and international stakeholders should continue to support these markets and value the unique benefits the sector offers.

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