Uganda gets chance to showcase fintech achievementsZianah says Uganda’s fintechs have a successful story to tell and there is no better occasion than this to do the telling.
There is a definite buzz running through Uganda’s financial technology (fintech) community as we prepare to host the second African Fintech Network Festival between November 5 and 6 at the Kampala International Conference Centre writes Zianah Muddu.
The excitement is well merited.
Uganda’s fintechs have a successful story to tell and there is no better occasion than this to do the telling. Many have emerged from modest beginnings, but persevered in often difficult circumstances, to become key players involved with helping to increase financial inclusion in Uganda.
The festival offers a chance to showcase what they are doing, how they doing it and gain some further insight from those who are setting the pace across the continent.
It is no secret that in terms of international exposure and numbers, Uganda’s fintechs lag behind the likes of those in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. On the other hand it should also be noted that these countries have considerably more developed fintech ecosystems than Uganda’s.
Recently, French venture capital firm, Partech Africa, reported that during 2018 Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa received 78% of the total technology start-up funding with Egypt close behind.
Specifically, Kenya start-ups raised $348 million; $306 million went to Nigeria while the South Africans attracted $250 million.
These figures reflect the widespread investor interest to tap into Africa’s financial sector by developing software or apps that cater for millions of the unbanked or underserved. Payments and money transfers is a thriving area where several Ugandan fintechs are operating in.
As joint organizers of this year’s Festival, the Financial Technology Service Providers Association of Uganda (FITSPA) is acutely aware of members’ financial constraints. The upcoming event is a cost-effective way for Ugandan fintechs to meet some of these investors.
By hosting the Festival, we hope to get our fintechs into as many one-on-one discussions with potential investors and equity partners about new funding. This is in line with FITSPA’s goal of creating a conducive environment to stimulate innovation in the financial services sector.
The Association has the mandate to support the strengthening and development of the fintech industry. It tries to give members a platform for advocacy, collaboration, promoting professionalism and raising awareness about the role financial technology companies play within the digital financial ecosystem.
FITSPA’s story to date has been one of steady growth, cooperation and a constant search for beneficial partnerships. In organizing this event we must mention the support from the Financial Sector Deepening Uganda (FSDU) project and UK Aid, Bowmans, Liquid Telcom and Africa Fintech Network.
Others of note have been our leading event sponsors including Stanbic Bank, Ecobank, Citibank, i2ifacility, Innovation Village, Kenisis, Interswitch East Africa, Bowmans and the Uganda Communication Commission.
Finally, I would like to say thank you to all FITSPA members, the Board and to our partners who believe in the goals and vision of the Association.
Zianah Muddu is the Engagement Partner for FITSPA