Event preview: Finnovation Ethiopia 2019

Fintech and the digital banking impact for Africa: Re-imagining banking & financial services at Finnovation Ethiopia 2019

The unique environment for financial services in Africa is fertile ground for innovative fintech players who are not only disrupting but also building it from the scratch, which is bringing financial inclusionf and attracting other investments across the continent.

New technological advancements are the real game-changers for the banking and finance industry, especially in fintech startups. Fintech players and the incumbent banks have the potential to accelerate the digital transformation of financial services in Africa and to make financial services more efficient and accessible to under-served markets across the continent.

Fintech companies are playing a major role in shaping up the Africa’s financial services ecosystem and the leading banks are seeking to harness technology innovations, collaboration with fintech startups, creating a platform to scale much faster to make the digital financial services pay.

The hugely successful events in the Finnovation Africa Series in Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa saw more than 800 thought leaders, fintech pioneers and bankers representing the foremost financial institutions from across the continent gather to address how fintech can contribute to the positive and profitable transformation of financial services in Africa.

From banking powerhouses to startup fintech disruptors, Finnovation World sets the stage for the positive and profitable transformation of financial services – and Finnovation World is now excited to announce the expansion of the conversation to Finnovation Ethiopia 2019 for the second edition at the Radisson Blu Addis Ababa on March 11. 

With a focus on the most significant technologies driving the financial services paradigm shift, including blockchain and cryptocurrencies, open banking and APIs, retail, payments innovation and mobile money, Finnovation Ethiopia 2019 also features a number of innovative sessions such as The Wolves’ Den, Sheba Valley: Harnessing Ethiopia’s FinTech boom, Inside the Investor’s Mind, and live-on-stage interviews with international Finnovators and African fintech pioneers.

Chris Principe, international fintech thought leader, said: “A very positive story, if one that is not yet well understood, is unfolding in Africa. New technology, new ideas and new business models are producing new opportunities.

"The distinctions between telecom services providers, payments services providers and financial institutions are breaking down. In virtually all African countries, there are sufficient numbers of mobile phones ‐ which are not necessarily smartphones - for previously unbanked people to have access to high quality financial services at low cost.

"Innovative companies are using blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies to resolve fundamental problems such as lack of access to electricity and lack of access to global financial markets.

"Finnovation Ethiopia highlights how fintech is transforming Africa for the better, facilitating payments, boosting financial inclusion and developing new enterprises. However, the conference does much more than that, as it engages key stakeholders to reveal how the entire world is changing. In many ways, Africa is a fintech leader, rather than a follower.”

Combining a highly innovative and interactive event format with world‐class speakers and more than 300 carefully selected participants, Finnovation Ethiopia 2019 will take place at the Radisson Blu Addis Ababa on March 11 and will tackle the most pressing questions for the progress of fintech in Africa, providing a platform for all stakeholders to engage in creating the future of financial services on the continent – from established banking powerhouses to fintech startups.