Program

African Finance after Covid: reboot,
digitalise, transform


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Opening remarks + Presentation of the African Financial Industry Barometer

During this original session, Deloitte and the Africa CEO Forum will unveil the results of the African Financial Industry Barometer. Based on 6 key themes for the development of the African financial industry (Strategy, Governance and Risk Management, Regulatory Framework, Macroeconomic Context, Innovation and Impacts), this exclusive survey takes stock of the state of the African financial industry in the face of the economic consequences of the pandemic and highlights its prospects for the future and for recovery.

Speakers


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Panel | Currency: what if we listened to financiers?

African national currencies can get in the way of the continent’s financial sector, whether because of convertibility issues, inflation or the lack of a full-fledged currency hedging industry. As powerful economic policy tools, they will have an equally decisive role in bringing the ongoing crisis to an end and ensuring the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area. What does “good” currency mean in Africa’s financial sector today? And how can such currencies advance the continent’s economic integration process?

Key points

  • African national currencies: what do banks want?
  • FX: when will we see the creation of full-fledged currency hedging industries?
  • AfCFTA: what monetary conditions are needed for it to succeed?

  • Moderator

    Eleni Giokos

    Business Correspondent, CNN

  • Expert

    Razia Khan

    Managing Director, Chief Economist, Africa and Middle East, Global Research, Standard Chartered Bank

Speakers

  • Joyce-Ann Wainaina

    Head of Global Subsidiaries Group for Sub Sahara Africa, Citibank

  • Ini Ebong

    Group Executive, Treasury and International Banking, First Bank of Nigeria

  • Thapelo Tsheole

    Chief Executive Officer, Botswana Stock Exchange


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CLOSED-DOOR SESSION | UNLEASHING INNOVATION TO ACCELERATE FINANCIAL INCLUSION IN AFRICA

This session is on registration only and space is limited. You can contact us at finance@theafricaceoforum.com  

Financial inclusion in Africa has made remarkable progress. In just a few years, the banking penetration rate on the continent has risen from less than 20% in 2015 to more than 40% today, thanks in particular to mobile solutions. The fintech sector, which has raised over $800 million in 2019, holds the promise of unprecedented progress. Bringing together the main players in financial innovation in Africa, this closed door workshop will focus on inclusion success stories, how to accelerate the recent trend in a sustainable way and the challenges to be met, particularly in terms of innovation regulation or consumer protection.

Key points

  • Success Stories of Financial Inclusion
  • How to address innovation regulation?
  • Will consumer protection put a limit to innovation?


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Business Case | Fraud and cyber risk: addressing new threats

As the workplace becomes increasingly digitised and with cyberattacks occurring on an almost industrial scale, cybersecurity has been elevated to a major concern for businesses in general and the financial sector in particular. While hackers used to mainly target IT infrastructure, today they are exploiting application flaws to gain entry into IT systems, retrieve data and extort money from their victims. In this session led by Mazars, two African financial sector leaders talk about the steps they are taking to adapt to these new risks.

Key points

  • How to assess and measure cybersecurity maturity
  • Learning how to respond and adapt to cyberattacks
  • Are regulations keeping pace with emerging cyber risks?

Speakers


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Fireside Chat | Conversation with Alioune Ndiaye

Claiming one in 10 Africans as customers, the telecoms group Orange has carved out an impressive market share on the continent. Of course, the French company has every intention of drawing on this customer base to expand its financial services offerings. Alioune Ndiaye, the exemplary CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa who has overseen everything from Orange Bank to Orange Money, regulatory changes, cryptocurrencies, and financial corridors of the diaspora community, will cover a lot of ground as he discusses how the telecoms giant came to be a major force in the financial industry.

 


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Fireside Chat | Conversation with Ade Ayeyemi

Since 2015, Ade Ayeyemi has been overseeing the destiny of Ecobank Group, one of the oldest and most symbolic pan-African group with a presence in 33 countries across the continent. During this exclusive session, the Nigerian banker will discuss the challenges of operating in so many countries with different regulations, the digital transformation of the group but also the upcoming battle between the Big Techs and the traditional banks.


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Fireside Chat | Conversation with Jean Kacou Diagou

Leading industry figure Jean Kacou Diagou has turned his company NSIA, founded in 1995, into one of the most potent forces in insurance in French-speaking Africa. In this special interview, he agreed to lay out his vision of the future of a sector whose every development he has experienced first-hand and often been a forerunner of for more than 40 years, taking on challenges spanning sales, asset management and human resources, while tackling practical realities such as digitalisation and negotiations with regulators.


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Panel | The fintech boom: regulating without stifling innovation

The most dynamic segment in Africa’s start-up boom, fintech firms raised $836m in capital in 2019, compared with $379m in 2018. They are fast-tracking financial inclusion on a continent where there are only five bank branches per 100,000 people, in contrast to 13 in other parts of the world. However, as we have seen with the explosion of online lending platforms in Kenya, their growth comes with a certain number of risks. How can they create a sustainable innovation culture? What kind of rapport should fintech firms, regulators and traditional companies have?

Key points

  • Are regulatory sandboxes the best solution?
  • Growth: how to harmonise financial regulations to help fintech firms expand their footprint in Africa
  • Banks, insurers and fintech firms: the keys to a productive collaboration

  • Moderator

    Wale Ayeni

    Acting Global Head, Disruptive Technologies and Venture Capital Investments, IFC

  • Expert

    Zied Loukil

    Partner & Africa and Middle East regional leader for the banking sector, Mazars

Speakers


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Panel | How can African finance ride the green wave?

By 2025, the World Bank and the AfDB will disburse $47bn to fight climate change in Africa. Far from being a one-off case, initiatives and incentives (financial, political, etc.) encouraging green finance are growing and offer unique business opportunities. Following the example of Nedbank, which announced it would impose binding resolutions regarding green finance, the continent’s largest banks are now competing to top each other’s environmental commitments. But how can companies actually carry out these commitments? What obstacles (whether legal, financial or regulatory) need to be overcome and how? And what types of instruments should be prioritised: green loans, property securities, insurance or green bonds?

Key points

  • Green finance: what road map should financiers in Africa follow (priorities, sectors, partnerships)?
  • What roles for which authorities in the regulation of green finance?
  • Green certification challenges: harmonising and liberalising an up-and-coming market

Speakers


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Fireside Chat | Is an alternative global financial system possible?

What kind of economy do we want to build? Should we bolster or rethink the global financial system? Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, and to address pressing social and climate change issues, some, including leaders of global capitalism, are challenging the “maximum profit” thinking that has prevailed since the 1970s. In this exclusive session, Bertrand Badré, former Managing Director of the World Bank Group and French President Jacques Chirac’s adviser for Africa and development, as well as author of the book Voulons-nous (sérieusement) changer le monde ? [Do we (really) want to change the world?], will share his views on what potential there is for an “alternative global financial system” and how to make it a reality.

  • Speaker

    Bertrand Badré

    CEO and Founder, Blue like an Orange Sustainable Capital

  • Interviewer

    Paul-Harry Aithnard

    Regional Executive Director UEMOA Managing Director Ecobank Côte d’Ivoire


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Business Case | The golden rules of digital transformation

The AFRICA CEO SURVEY 2020 found that 98% of business leaders expected the Covid-19 crisis to accelerate the pace of digitalisation, yet many of them continue to be ill-equipped to successfully carry out such an endeavour. From creating a far-reaching digital transformation plan to implementing full-fledged change management processes and performing data cleansing, the implications are ultimately of a more human and strategic than technical nature. With the professional services firm EY in the driver’s seat, two financial institution leaders provide insight into how they tackle digital transformation challenges.

Key points

  • Digital transformation: after Covid, what will be the “next normal”?
  • Getting employees on board with building a culture of innovation
  • Risk assessment, customer insights: how to finally make use of your data

  • Moderator

    Ridha Meftah

    Partner - Financial Services Consulting Leader - Francophone Africa, EY Consulting

  • Speaker

    Roch Guinko

    Director, Digital and Transformation, SUNU Group

  • Speaker

    Leila Serar

    Group Chief Transformation Officer, BMCE-Bank Of Africa


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Panel | Capital markets: Africa’s new goldmine in a post-Covid world?

Deserted by foreign investors in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, most of Africa’s capital markets had a rocky year in 2020. Debt markets, on the other hand, proved resilient, reaping the rewards of innovative initiatives put in place by governments and development partners. A total of $10.2trn (up 31% in 2019) in debt was raised worldwide in 2020, a share of which by countries such as Benin and Côte d’Ivoire. On a more microeconomic level, African SMEs in financial difficulty are now also being lured by these markets, as they offer new products that better meet their needs. Is debt the solution to the continent’s corporate financing issues? How and to what extent?

Key points

  • Preventing/mitigating the flight of foreign investors from African markets
  • How can regulations be tailored in order to fast track financing?
  • Leveraging innovation to attract African institutional investors, including pension funds

Speakers


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Panel | Relieving banks from the burden of non-performing loans

In the wake of the economic crisis, the amount of non-performing loans (NPLs) on the books of African banks is expected to double this year from 2019 levels. Dedicated secondary markets in North America, Europe and Asia allow private banks to withdraw these toxic loans from balance sheets, thereby mitigating bankruptcy risk. The African continent still lacks this kind of market infrastructure, even though it would help attract investors interested in such products. What is holding back the creation of these types of markets? Will they see the light of day in the near future?

Key points

  • Non-performing loans: is an implosion imminent?
  • Bad banks: what solutions are on hand for African banks?
  • Can investing in NPLs be profitable?

  • Moderator

    Didi Akinyelure

    Journalist, BBC News

  • Expert

    Zuberoa Mainz

    Distressed Assets Investments - Regional Lead for Middle East and Africa, IFC

Speakers

  • Mustapha Mourahib

    Managing Partner Casablanca office and Co-Head of Africa Practice, Clifford Chance

  • Constant N’zi

    Group Chief Risk Officer, African Guarantee Fund

  • David Renwick

    Managing Director, Corporate & Investment Bank, Absa

  • Peace Uwase

    Executive Director for Financial Stability, Central Bank of Rwanda


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Closed-door session | Women in Finance

This session is on registration only and space is limited. You can contact us at finance@theafricaceoforum.com

Gender equality in the financial sector is still a challenge in the top positions. If women make up more than 50 percent of the financial services industry they account for only 19 percent of positions in the C-suite. Women leaders from the finance sector will share during this closed-door session their best practices to foster inclusion in the financial sector, and propose high-impact measures to ensure the integration of women into managing positions and to explore how to achieve common goals.

Key points

  • Best practices to foster inclusion and to improve parity and diversity
  • Initiatives (networks) that can be developed to work together and extend each participant reach.
  • How women can be a growth and economic recovery’s driver?


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Fireside Chat | Conversation with Serge Ekué

A banker with an international career spanning London, Paris and Hong Kong, Serge Ekué took the helm of the West African Development Bank (BOAD) this past September and immediately won over global investors, raising €750m through a sustainability bond issue. In this exclusive session, Mr Ekué offers his insight into how Africa can finally tap into the massive pool of savings available globally, enact reforms to better harness local savings and accelerate the financing of the real economy by African financiers.


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Panel | Coming out of isolation: expanding African finance’s global footprint

Is the finance industry edging Africa out? With international banks pulling out of many developing markets, trade is becoming increasingly difficult in these regions. Since 2008, the number of correspondent banks has fallen 20%, while in 2017 the trade finance gap reached $150bn for Africa alone. As the African Continental Free Trade Area comes into being, how can pan-African banks take over from their international counterparts? What role can regulatory authorities and multilateral institutions play to limit risk?

Key points:

  • Will the pandemic-induced sovereign debt crisis speed up Africa’s marginalisation?
  • Transparency, guarantees, capacity building, compliance, setting up shop in wealthy countries: strategies for increasing the number of African banks in trade finance
  • Blockchain: by streamlining transactions, will fintech be a game changer?

 

Speakers


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Panel | Frontier markets: on the cusp of the ‘great leap forward’?

Despite their combined population of 200 million inhabitants, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo are still largely untapped markets where global finance is concerned. The former is dominated by state-owned banks, while the latter is plagued by inadequate regulations and one of the world’s lowest banking penetration rates, at under 7%. Both markets have potential but fail to spark investor interest due to the perceived risks involved. Other “frontier markets” in Africa, from the Sahel to Angola, not to mention Liberia and Sierra Leone, continue to be left behind for similar reasons. However, owing to the dual impact of ongoing reforms and growing appetite among large banks, the tide may soon turn. What conditions need to be in place for these markets to finally flourish?

Key points

  • Angola, Ethiopia: what kind of liberalisation is in sight for the banking sector?
  • DRC: is the banking sector finally about to take off?
  • Strategy: acquisition or greenfield entry?

Speakers


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CLOSING REMARKS