In a recent speech, while welcoming the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, the Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo emphasized that it is the responsibility of Africans to develop their nations by themselves. Akufo-Addo notes that it is not right for African nations to continue depending on the generosity of European taxpayers for aid and support, but that the continent should be able to handle their own basic needs by themselves.
“Our main responsibility as leaders and citizens is what we need to do to grow our own countries.”
The role of fintech in development
Already acknowledged as underdeveloped when compared to other continents like Asia, Europe and America, most of the problems faced by the 1.2 bln people of Africa are directly or indirectly connected with financial inclusion and remittances.
Easy access to funds and efficiency of transactions have proven to be major determinants of wealth creation and growth in today’s world. As a matter of fact, in some cases it stands out as the difference between development and primitive existence. This is evident in the dynamism and rate of change in communities where improved fintech products have been launched.
Typical examples include Kenya, whose rate of adoption of mobile money services has shown impressive results and consequences. Malawi is another great example; the country is taking significant steps to improve financial access such as setting measurable financial inclusion goals and joining both the Maya Declaration and the Better Than Cash. This progress on the regulatory and public policy side is reflected in its relatively high scores on country commitment and regulatory framework.
Dickson Nsofor, Founder of Kora Network, said:
“Financial services have been proven to help grow wealth. Unfortunately, for much of the world access is uneven and expensive. In many places formal banking is seen as something exclusively for the wealthy. Banks require high minimums and fees for opening and maintaining accounts. Due to the cost to serve and inability to prove identity, many financial institutions don’t open branches in remote or low-income areas, requiring people to travel for hours to transfer money.”
The emergence of Blockchain technology reveals huge potential in solving these problems and enabling the development of the continent…