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Program

AFIS 2022

SUSTAINABLE, BORDERLESS AND DIGITAL – TRANSFORMING FINANCE IN THE AGE OF DISRUPTION

Africa has been at the global forefront of modernising financial services. By expanding world-leading
mobile money operations, taking steps towards offering green finance and more recently introducing Central
Bank Digital Currencies, financial institutions have been building foundations for improved financing of African
economies.

Yet the sector’s sweeping sustainable, borderless and digital transformation is about to take place under extreme volatility that most industry executives have never experienced. In this high-risk macroeconomic environment, the financial industry’s profitability is likely to come under pressure, from deteriorating asset quality, liquidity risks and scarce available capital as well as emerging climate and cyber risks.

  • Conversation With | Ade Ayeyemi

    Since he took charge in 2015, Ade Ayeyemi has guided Ecobank to financial stability, significantly reduced NPLs and helped the bank record profitability last year. Under his leadership, Ecobank has diversified its business and rapidly accelerated digital transactions, particularly via B2B payments platform Omni-Plus. In what may be one of his last interviews as Ecobank CEO, as he passes on the reins at the end of this year, Ade Ayeyemi shares his vision on the future of banking on the continent with CNN’s Eleni Giokos.  

  • Transforming African finance in times of crisis

    Africa’s financial industry is set to be shaken by a global economic shock as it undergoes a critical transformation towards digital channels, a pan-African ecosystem and a more socially and environmentally conscious future. Conflict in Ukraine has put a strain on foreign exchange reserves and has sparked significant energy and food price inflation on the continent. Credit and liquidity risks for Africa’s financial institutions are elevated and there may be scarce available capital to close a trade finance deficit (estimated at $81bn for SMEs), adapt to climate change ($30 to $50 billion needed each year over the next decade) and expand financial services. How can the industry deliver a profitable transformation amid the disruptions? 

    Key points:

    • How deeply will global macroeconomic trends affect African finance? 

    • What sustainable and digital transformation will be viable for the sector in the mid-term?

    • How far can Africa really go towards harmonised financial systems? 

    Larry MADOWO
    Moderator

    Larry MADOWO

    Journalist and International Correspondent, CNN
  • Mobile money and banks: Are low cost fintechs changing the game?

    Low-fee fintech entrants are taking the African market by storm. These disrupters are pushing established mobile money players towards banking partnerships that enable them to diversify revenues beyond transaction fees. With some 173 live mobile money services and 621m registered accounts in Africa by 2021, as well as e-money licenses (Senegal) and credit licenses (Kenya) now issued to digital players without legacy bank involvement, why should commercial banks support potential competitors to gain credit licenses? Can traditional banks, mobile money operators and fintechs come together to forge mutually beneficial synergies?    

    Key points:

    • Interoperability: Growing the appetite for cross-compatible products and licensing partnerships 

    • Devising common principles on data reliability, and fulfilling compliance requirements in licensing deals 

    • AML-KYC safeguards and credit licenses: What should regulators do to ensure a level playing field between banks, fintechs and mobile money providers?

  • MSME Finance: Finding the right recipe to fill the funding shortfall

    The pandemic and ensuing inflation-related interest rate hikes linked to the conflict in Ukraine have only amplified financing constraints for the tens of millions of African micro, small-and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). With 62% of SMEs in sub-Saharan Africa reporting they cannot access loans, a $330bn funding gap and mainly only short tenures available, governments are innovating to overcome exclusionary banking practices; credit data and collateral challenges; high loan default rates that can rise to 50%; and tax system aversion by MSMEs themselves. How can stakeholders foster greater financial literacy, tax system inclusion, as well as innovative financing options via the likes of securitization, leveraging capital markets, mobile money, and supply chain finance? 

    Key points: 

    • How can lenders be encouraged to back more MSME loans while default risks remain high?  

    • Time to file:  Incentivizing MSMEs to formalize

    • How could deregulation spark new financing models and drive financial inclusion? 

    Amine BOUABID
    Speaker

    Amine BOUABID

    Executive General Manager in charge of Africa, BMCE Bank of Africa
    Jules NGANKAM
    Speaker

    Jules NGANKAM

    Group Managing Director , AFRICAN GUARANTEE FUND
  • Unlocking Women's Financial Inclusion in Africa

    Only 37% of women in Sub-Saharan Africa have a bank account. Women entrepreneurs also confront a $42 billion gender funding gap and in 2021 alone, women-only founders received less than 1% of the nearly $5 billion raised by African startups. Long-term solutions could lie in equipping financial institutions and financiers with gender-informed policies, providing financial literacy trainings, as well as creating new partnerships with informal financial markets. Yet many hurdles, including poverty, discrimination, and a lack of institutional support continue to fuel gender disparity in access to finance and venture capital for African women.  How do we make formal financial services available, accessible and affordable to women and women entrepreneurs?  

    Key Points:

    • What are the biggest opportunities and innovations toward financial inclusion for women?  
    • What can venture capitalist funds and investors do better to address the gender funding gap?  
    • How do we promote a more effective understanding and implementation of financial inclusion products and strategies?