Uganda hosts the 2019 Africa FinTech Festival

Mr. Vincent Bagiire, Permanent Secretary - Ministry of ICT

By Ambrose Gahene

 The 2019 Africa FinTech Festival (AFF) themed: ‘The role of FinTechs in Africa’s Digital Economy’ was officially opened recently in Kampala. The two-day event co-hosted by The Financial Technology Service Providers Association of Uganda (FITSPA) and Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Uganda took place between November 5th and 6th at the Serena Hotel, Kampala.

The 2019 AFF has attracted over 250 delegates from across Africa including FinTechs, regulators, policy makers, investors, financial service providers and development partners. The overwhelming response to the event demonstrates the need for collaborative platforms that convene stakeholders to explore opportunities that will enable FinTechs to play an active role in growing Africa’s digital economy. 

Mr. Vincent Bagiire, Permanent Secretary – Ministry of Information, Communication Technology and National Guidance, while opening the event on behalf of the Minister, Hon. Frank K. Tumwebaze, commented: “Government views FinTech operators as crucial enablers of electronic transactions and e-commerce. They are key players in the integration of systems that are vital for service delivery where citizens have to pay for a service – such as passports.”

Delegates discussed a wide-range of issues covering regulatory environment, resourcing FinTechs for sustained success, consumer protection and innovative models that will disrupt savings, credit, insurance and investment services for more inclusion.

“Our primary role at Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Uganda is to address constraints to accessing financial services and facilitate the financial market system to function more effectively and inclusively. Because of the agility of FinTechs, they play an increasingly important role in ensuring relevant financial services reach marginalized groups, build their resilience and secure their wellbeing,” explained Rashmi Pillai, Executive Director of FSD Uganda. 

Participants also explored new business models and innovative partnerships that are expanding efficiency and service provision in key sectors, including trade and agriculture. Adequate resourcing will be key to ensuring that FinTechs can innovate and scale in ways that support ambitious national development targets.

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