From November 1-3, fintech stakeholders from around Africa and the globe converged in Lusaka, Zambia, for the 10th edition of the Africa Fintech Summit. Historically, AFTS has been the go-to platform for fintech startups, banks, corporations, telcos, government agencies, venture capital firms, and other industry players to engage in thoughtful ecosystem-building conversations, share knowledge, explore partnership opportunities and mobilize investments. AFTSLusaka2023 was no different.
The summit, which had Flutterwave as its headline sponsor, kicked off on a light-hearted note with a poolside VIP Dinner on November 1 at Ciela Resort. The Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Zambia, Linnisa Wahid, delivered a welcome address where she emphasized how digital transformation is fostering financial inclusion and sustainable economic development in Zambia.
On day two of the event, the conference center at Ciela Resort welcomed 625 in-person delegates from over 45 countries, while more than 1,000 other participants tuned in from across the continent, with most being university students sponsored to take part by Twitter founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey. Quickly, Hon. Felix Mutati, Zambia’s Minister of Technology & Science set the tone of the event with an impassioned keynote.
In his address, the minister touched on everything from Zambia’s digital transformation strategy to fintech’s role in advancing it and the need for Africa to leverage digital transformation for economic development. He would later go on to announce Zambia’s plans to launch a smartphone manufacturing plant in 2024 to foster digital access. Three other keynote addresses from representatives of the Bank of Zambia, USAID Zambia, and the US Embassy in Lusaka were interspersed by 13 panel discussions on key fintech and fintech-related topics.
Over 80 speakers ranging from founders and investors to bankers and regulators delved into themes such as Leveraging AI in fintech, Fintech in Every Industry, Embedded Fintech, Investing in Fintech Amidst a Global Investment Slowdown and more. Two workshops tagged “Lessons learned from enabling fintech payment solutions across Africa,” and “An ecosystem approach for cross-border payments in and out of Africa,” hosted by MDP and Multigate, respectively, also formed parts of the expert-led discussions on the agenda.
In-between sessions, attendees had lunch and coffee breaks that doubled as networking sessions. These breaks also offered delegates the opportunity to engage with local and pan-African startups, banks and other organizations at their stands.
The main event concluded with the first-ever live episode of the African Pre-seed Podcast titled “Is Fintech the One True Ecosystem Vertical?” The speakers were host Hope Ditlhakanyane, former Visa Executive and Scale founder Miranda Perumal, Flourish VC Principal Efayomi Carr and Founder and Chairman of Blockchain Association of Kenya (BAK), and Michael Kimani. Attendees then unwound and further connect during a happy hour sponsored by Aella.
Two major items were on the agenda for the final day, November 3: a tour of the Zambian tech ecosystem and the annual AlphaExpo Pitch Competition. The ecosystem tour saw delegates make stops at PremierCredit, Paratus Zambia, Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Absa Zambia, where they interacted with the respective teams. Later that evening, attendees then converged again at Ciela resort to watch 15 African startups pitch to a panel of judges during the AlphaExpo Pitch Competition.
AlphaExpo is a sector-agnostic initiative from the Africa Fintech Summit, that enables startups to showcase their solutions free of charge at the Africa Fintech Summit and pitch to win growth-enabling prizes and connect with investors. The competition boasts alumni such as YellowCard, Piggyvest, Marketforce and others startups that have gone on to raise over $200 million in funding.
Sponsored by USAID, this year’s AlphaExpo saw an opening address by Robin Sharma, USAID Zambia’s Deputy Mission Director and had seven startups from Zambia, two from Nigeria, three from Kenya, one from South Africa, one from Namibia, and one from Uganda. Zambia’s Save and Remit won the competition, while Nigeria’s Trade Lenda and Uganda’s aXiom Zorn finished second and third, respectively.
With such a diverse lineup of ecosystem-building engagements, it was no surprise that attendees generally thought the summit delivered on its promises and were quick to share their experiences alongside photos and videos from the event. The AFTS team was quick to point out the role that sponsors and partners such as Flutterwave, Chipper Cash, MDP, Ecobank, Cellulant, Paystack, PremierCredit, TechCabal and others played in making the Lusaka event a success.
According to the AFTS team, Nairobi, Kenya, will host the 11th edition of the Africa Fintech Summit in 2024. The date and venue will be announced in January 2024.
Distributed by African Media Agency in partnership with Africa Fintech Summit
Get Your News on Wundef.com
Send us your business and entrepreneurship stories/news and articles to email@example.com or through whatsapp, +233247516850.
And also follow us on Twitter