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Can Africa harness Blockchain to grow into a super-economy?

 Fintech and Blockchain technology have the potential to lift the lid on many of Africa’s challenges and opportunities, from health, agriculture and education, to travel and tourism. Perhaps one of the most exciting keys they hold, is the potential to lift the cloak of corruption off Africa through the transparency that exists particularly within blockchain systems.

While blockchain is far from a pipe dream, there is a great deal of “plumbing” required across the continent in order to set the chains rolling. Strong industry regulations across the continent are essential for creating a smooth-running and reliable platform that will encourage investors to help fuel digital growth that could dramatically transform economies across Africa.

Blockchain is also set to be one of the big talking points happening at Blockchain Africa, a conference stream under the AfricaTech umbrella and part of the virtual Africa Tech Festival.  As in previous years, AfricaTech, an extension of the long-established and well-subscribed AfricaCom event, will host a series of conversations around the key pillars underpinning the potential for the technology explosion that can lift African into being a key player in the global economy.

Exploring the engine room accelerating Africans to embrace digital inclusion, Fintech Africa will look at the next innovations in fintech, discuss some of the barriers still preventing growth across the continent, along with the opportunities that fintech creates too and an exciting pitch and win session for selected start-ups who will come face-to-face (albeit virtually) with some of the most savvy investors, venture capitalists and seasoned African fintech pioneers.

Regardless of inherent skills in Africa – and the potential for training the next generation of digital leaders – fintech has the potential to revolutionise industry as well as the social lives of Africa’s billion-plus population. While massive digital skills programmes will become the norm, the potential to leapfrog technologies and to harness G and fibre, places Africa in prime position to keep pushing its rapid economic growth… as long as there is investor confidence in the continent.

Discussions happening over 10 and 11 November at Fintech Africa at the virtual Africa Tech Festival include:

·         COVID-19 triggering deep digital change in African Fintech – panel discussion around digitization, facilitating cashless transactions… and leapfrogging obsolete technologies

·         Africa’s fintech revolution – collaborating to accelerate change – panel discussion on the adoption of banks, financial institutions and merchants to a new payments landscape, and aligning the role of regulators, incumbent banks, fintech innovators, investors, MNOs and private sector

·         Beyond M-Pesa: Payments as the new frictionless mobile infrastructure – panel discussion on creating new payment gateways and rewards programmes and attracting investors with scalability of products

·         The GIG Economy as a powerful disruptor enabling work for millions – Unlocking the potential of the informal sector and human capital by introducing e-commerce to the offline customer and attracting capital and expanding into new markets – Desne Masie, Chief Strategist, IC Publications

·         Fintech as the digital transformation accelerator – panel discussion on launching new products and services and building additional capacity for innovation, automation, efficiency and scalability

·         From medical app to healthcare platform: unlocking value in the African pharmaceutical and healthcare ecosystem – Health-app commercial models in Africa and the challenge of balancing impact and revenue in healthcare – Yaseen Khan, CEO and Co-Founder, Emerging Medical Guidances

·         Inside the fintech investor’s mind – panel discussion on the hot topic of fintech investors and how the analyse start-ups and looking at the reasons some start-ups attract big investors

·         Fintech pitching panel – panel discussion between a power-packed group of savvy investors, venture capitalists and seasoned African fintech pioneers, offering insight into  how they evaluate the business models of selected start-ups.

Discussions happening on 12 November at Blockchain Africa at the virtual Africa Tech Festival include:

·         Beyond the hype: blockchain and decentralised finance – a panel discussion on supply chains, the importance of removing barriers to financial inclusion and how new technology can eliminate centralised processes.

·         Bitcoin as a digital micro transaction platform – Lorien Gamaroff, CEO, Bankymoon

·         Bitcoin SV: The Blockchain to Empower Global Trade & Honesty – Craig Wright, Chief Scientist, Bitcoin

·         Digital assets today and tomorrow – panel discussion on issues around scaling blockchain for mainstream adoption  and looking beyond cryptocurrencies

·         Libra – exciting presentation about a new blockchain-based financial infrastructure that will simplifies the global movement of money and commerce, while fostering financial inclusion  – Hemash Kala, Managing Director, Beansprout Technologies

·         Preparing for Considerable Compliance challenges – What you need to know about alleviating cyber threats, understanding processes, policy and alignment, in addition to the hot topic of tightening regulatory frameworks – Herco Steyn, Senior Fintech Specialist, SARB

Fintech Africa and Blockchain Africa at the Virtual Africa Tech Festival offer a unique opportunity to explore the revolutionary changes that fintech – and in particular blockchain – could bring to the African continent, opening up dynamic banking and payment channels that can empower the small business growth vital for the continent’s hopes of growing into a dominant world economy.

Taking place online this year, the virtual Africa Tech Festival incorporating AfricaCom and AfricaTech, will provide ample opportunity for insight, business operational adjustment and an eye as to the opportunities presented by the digital shift.

To register for a FREE delegate pass – click HERE

For further information please visit the 2020 website

Media accreditation is now open: https://registration.gesevent.com/survey/06t0kg4kkf2ei

Source: AfricaCom and AfricaTech 2020

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