To help address the unprecedented challenges facing African economies, the inaugural Financial Industry Summit will convene 500 decision-makers representing the entire spectrum of the financial industry, including bankers, insurers, fintech executives, mobile money operators and microfinance institutions, stock markets, regulators and government Ministers.
Organised by the Africa CEO Forum, in partnership with global development finance institution, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the summit will be held online on March 10 to 11.
Through panels, keynote speeches, and high-level round tables, participants will explore topics essential to developing an efficient financial sector, such as how to drive digital transformation, developing financial inclusion strategies, adapting to the regulatory environment, updating risk management practices and understanding the impact of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The summit seeks to help the sector boost competitiveness, embrace innovation and have a positive, sustainable impact on the continent’s economies.
The organisers indicate that, with banking income growing by 11% a year on average and African fintech firms raising more than $800-million in equity funding in 2019, Africa’s financial industry had been one of the most dynamic in the world before the Covid-19 pandemic struck.
However, they note that the impact of the crisis promises to be severe for Africa’s economies, which face heightened levels of risk, a likely deterioration in returns on equity, and the challenge of rapid digitalisation.
The organisers say the silver lining is that there has never been a better time for African finance to rethink its development trajectory, which is why the summit is being convened.
“If we really want the AfCFTA to be successful and to seize this unique opportunity to rethink Africa’s financial industry, if we want Africa to overcome the Covid-19 crisis and find a way to create a full-fledged, continent-wide economic recovery plan, then we have no other choice but to combine the forces of the public and private sectors. Africa needs a dynamic public-private dialogue, and it needs it now. Tomorrow will be too late,” says Africa CEO Forum president Amir Ben Yahmed.
Founded in 2012, the Africa CEO Forum is a yearly gathering of decision-makers from the largest African companies, as well as international investors, multinational executives, heads of State, Ministers and representatives of the main financial institutions operating on the continent.