Minister of Finances and Economic development, Ethiopia
African Finance after Covid: reboot,
Panel | Reinventing post-Covid African finance
Up until this year, Africa’s financial industry was one of the most dynamic in the world, with banking income growing by 11% per year on average, more than $800m raised by fintech firms in 2019, very high growth potential in banking and insurance, developing capital markets and two-thirds of mobile money transactions worldwide. The looming economic crisis has upended this rosy outlook somewhat, with the likely deterioration in portfolio quality expected to weigh on profitability, but the crisis is also ushering in new opportunities for the most agile and digitally-ready operators. How should we rethink the development trajectory of African finance in light of these emerging challenges?
- How to capitalise on pandemic-related acceleration in digitalisation, fintech and mobile money
- Default risk, support for the real economy: what role should the financial sector play in the recovery?
- Withdrawal of international banks, intra-African consolidation: is the hour of continental banking giants here?
Fireside Chat | Conversation with Sitoyo Lopokoiyit
The M-Pesa mobile money platform has revolutionised financial services in Africa in a short time since its 2007 launch. Now boasting more than 41 million customers (62% in Kenya), the Vodacom and Safaricom joint venture has in recent years increased its partnerships with banks and mobile operators as part of an effort to diversify its offerings and expand its geographic footprint. In this exclusive conversation, Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, who this past spring was appointed to head the mobile payments pioneer, talks strategy and sector potential with seasoned African banker Toyin Sanni.
Panel | International regulations: giving a voice to African financiers
Enforcing the often exceedingly costly banking regulations that prevail in other parts of the world is particularly difficult in Africa, as its financial landscape includes many small financial institutions. The fact that more than 40 countries across the continent have yet to implement the Basel III framework bears witness to this reality. As Africa continues to grapple with the Covid crisis, one that demands banks to do everything in their power to prop up economic activity, these foreign standards seem more stifling than ever. What solutions, including temporary exemptions from applying Basel standards, government support measures and recapitalisations, should be used to address this dilemma? How can banks and regulators adapt accordingly to aid in the economic recovery without completely sidestepping regulations?
- Government-backed loans, tax breaks, interest rebates: supporting African banks by shifting risk
- Basel standards, FATCA, KYC, Solvency II: the challenge of meeting both local needs and international standards
- Can African banks bear the cost of compliance?
Panel | What can the financial sector do to address the economic crisis?
According to World Bank estimates, per capita income in sub-Saharan Africa fell by 6.2% in 2020, reversing more than a decade of progress. This decline puts the financial sector in a paradoxical position, as it must back the efforts of governments with limited economic stimulus options and provide support to communities at risk of poverty – all while improving its own financial health. What kind of dialogue needs to be established between regulators, political authorities and operators to better meet the financing needs of African economies as they weather the crisis, without sacrificing the stability of the financial system?
- What does the future hold for Africa’s post-Covid growth outlook? Can the AfCFTA make all the difference?
- How can the financial sector provide financing without driving up risk?
- Regulatory easing, government aid, shareholder donations: identifying practical solutions to fast track financing
Panel | Insurance: how to (finally) win over African consumers
Despite experiencing a steady rise in revenues since 2015, with a 7.5% year-on-year increase in countries belonging to the Federation of African National Insurance Companies (FANAF), the insurance industry is having a hard time wooing African consumers. So much so that the continent has the lowest insurance penetration in the world, with rates ranging from 13% in South Africa to less than 2% in some regions. Even with the advent of bancassurance and digitalisation, which effectively address distribution issues, the industry continues to face a most formidable challenge: earning consumers’ trust. Will digital transformation, new products and industry consolidation start bringing in customers at long last? Or will the industry need a boost from the powers that be?
- Earning the trust of African consumers: do insurers have the resources to meet such a challenge?
- Social security, tax-exempt insurance products, mandatory insurance coverage: how can governments support insurers?
- “Legislation, solvency and beyond: how far should regulators go?”
Keynote | Cryptocurrency: is a revolution under way?
Blockchains and crypto-assets have been making newspaper headlines for the past months, mainly driven by the price of bitcoin. But what is the added value of those technologies and how has the ecosystem evolved since the last hype of 2017? Claire Balva, one of the foremost specialists of blockchain and crypto-currency, will focus with this exclusive keynote on what is a stake with crypto-assets and the strategic opportunities they create for banking players.
CLOSED-DOOR SESSION | HELPING THE AFCFTA BOOST AFRICA'S FINANCIAL INDUSTRY
This session is on registration only and space is limited. You can contact us at email@example.com
The recent birth of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) represents a unique opportunity to rethink Africa’s financial industry. The decisions taken by the negotiators are expected to accelerate the emergence of continental champions in all sectors of the financial industry. During this closed door workshop, the main players in the financial sector, whether bankers, insurers, mobile money operators or fintech, will discuss the best ways to adapt regulations in order to foster the emergence of a pan-African financial industry: harmonization, facilitation of foreign exchange movements, etc.
- The Impact of the AfCFTA on Africa’s financial industry
- Harmonization of regulations across Africa : what is possible and what needs to be done
- Establishment of a pana-African payment systems and ease of foreign exchange movements
Business Case | Sustainable finance: a new normal for access to capital?
From January through November 2020, investors in mutual funds and ETFs poured in $ 288 Bn globally in sustainable assets, a 96% increase over the whole of 2019. The pandemic undoubtedly served as a tipping point for environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) and accordingly impacted the financial ecosystem. What does this mean for African financial institutions, and how should you concretely draw the best out of this surge? Santhosh Jayaram, Partner & Head at KPMG, and two high-level specialists of the African ESG landscape will share their views and best practices to take advantage of this new normal.
- New money, new products, new requirements: what has changed in the ESG landscape since the beginning of the Covid crisis?
- Navigating Sustainable finance: what hurdles and challenges to look out for?
- Financial institutions: being ready for the ride
Moderator & Expert
Partner & Head, Climate Change, Sustainability and CSR Advisory, KPMG
Fireside Chat | Conversation with Herbert Wigwe
In 2019, Access Bank became the largest bank in Nigeria and Africa by customer base, with over 31 million customers. Now, the financial institution, which has an established presence beyond Nigeria, is revving up its pan-African growth strategy. In this exclusive session, Herbert Wigwe – the executive behind the company’s transformation from the 65th bank in the country in 2002 to a behemoth today – touches on key issues impacting the sector, such as the pitfalls of geographic expansion in the wake of the AfCFTA, banking 2.0, sector stability in the Covid era and how African financiers can make an impact and bring about major change, an area of particular importance to the Nigerian chief executive.
Business Case | Brand, digitalisation, services... Understanding the new challenges of the customer experience
The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated changes in consumption patterns across all sectors of the economy. In the world’s most developed financial markets, the customer experience has undergone a dramatic transformation now that alternative forms of communication are replacing face-to-face contact. This shift is also at work in Africa, but to varying degrees based on insurance companies and banks’ historical foothold and, most of all, if barriers are impeding radical changes in the customer experience. In this session led by Deloitte, two executives from large regional financial institutions explain how they are taking account of new consumer behaviours.
- In the absence of international regulatory changes, the customer experience remains curtailed
- How insurers and banks should leverage technology investments and fintech
- Data monitoring, constant agility: key ingredients for success
Panel | Telcos, banks, fintech: who will win the digital payments war?
Africa’s payments industry is one of the most dynamic in the world, with digital payments growing 11% annually since 2014 and potentially 13% annually in the years ahead. The payments industry involves a wide variety of financial industry stakeholders, from fintech firms to banks, historical payments leaders and telcos, and has become subject to fierce competition, with traditional companies falling behind thus far. How will the industry’s future play out and what strategic positioning will its various stakeholders adopt?
- How can interoperability be fostered?
- How should the payments industry be regulated, particularly where cross-border transactions are concerned?
- What kind of impact could the AfCFTA have on the sector?
Fireside Chat | Conversation with Tiémoko Meyliet Koné
Re-elected in August 2020 for a second term as governor of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), Tiémoko Meyliet Koné is one of a number of central bankers who worked tirelessly to mitigate the crisis and has the daunting task of leading Africa’s economic recovery in 2021. What watchwords sum up his crisis management response? What monetary policy should WAEMU member countries adopt to overcome the crisis? Should the expansion of fintech firms be further regulated? And will Africa finally be able to make its voice heard where international regulations are concerned? Tune in to this exclusive 30-minute conversation to hear how the central banker is coping with the crisis.