Leading innovators, investors, and policy makers from around the world are set to gather in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on November 21, 2019 for the 4th edition of the Africa Fintech Summit (AFTS).
With participants who represent over $4.5 billion in private equity and venture capital funding, the AFTS is the premier global initiative dedicated to financial technology in Africa, according to the press statement of the organizers. The bi-annual summit occurs each April in Washington, D.C., and each November in a different African city.
The AFTS Advisory Board unanimously chose Addis Ababa as the 2019 host city in recognition of its rapidly growing economy, extensive infrastructure investments across the last two decades, and ambitious reform agenda that includes partial privatization of the national telecom monopoly and ongoing liberalization of the financial sector.
“I am thrilled that this great event is coming to Addis Ababa,” said the Honorable Getahun Mekuria (Dr.-Ing) Minister of Innovation and Technology, Ethiopia. “And there is no better time than Nov 2019 for this Summit to come to Addis, to show to our policy makers the great economic impacts fintechs are bringing to other economies and to prove that our current sweeping digital reforms are absolutely correct.”
Fitsum Arega, Ethiopian Ambassador stated Ethiopia’s commitment to Pan-African economic growth and integration is evident from its founding membership of OAU/AU, its offer of visa-on-arrival to all African travelers, its ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) last April.
He also mentioned Ethiopia’s flag-carrier Ethiopian Airlines, which connects 61 African cities to more than 120 destinations worldwide as examples of his country’s commitment to the integration Africa. “Ethiopia is well positioned to welcome global travelers for the Africa Fintech Summit,” he said.
“In addition, the country’s renewed focus on digitalizing the broader economy and driving greater financial inclusion through innovation, there is no better time to host the Fintech Summit in Ethiopia,” the Ambassador added.
The AFTS is organized by Dedalus Global, an investment and communications advisory focusing on emerging markets and emerging technologies, and by Ibex Frontier, an investment consultancy and route-to-Ethiopian-market advisory.
“We are extremely proud to bring AFTS to Ethiopia, the 2nd most populous nation in Africa that is at the inflicting point of digitalization, as e-commerce and financial inclusion are of prime focus both by the Government and the tech sector. We look forward to welcoming global investors and Fintech eco-system players with warm Ethiopian hospitality,” said Zekarias Amsalu, Founder & MD of Ibex Frontier.
This past April, the AFTS in Washington, D.C. hosted 200 entrepreneurs, bank executives, policy makers, and corporate influencers from over 20 countries. Past AFTS speakers include Jim Ovia, Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank; Clinton Townsend, Director, Global Fintech at Visa; Olugbenga Agboola, Co-Founder and CEO of Flutterwave; Tayo Oviosu, Founder and CEO of Paga; Andi Dervishi, Chief Investment Officer at IFC; and Worku Gachou, Managing Director for Africa, OPIC.
The AFTS Addis Ababa will focus on the future of banking, mobile money growth and integration, policy and regulation, block chain, digital identity, remittances, and financial inclusion. Strategic partners for the Summit include the Corporate Council on Africa, the US State Department, the US-Nigeria Council, the Congo Business Network, and PeaceTech Lab.