• Sunday, May 19, 2024
businessday logo


African Fintech Foundry to grow start-ups


In a bid to create an enabling environment for small and medium businesses to thrive and create employment opportunities for start-ups, innovators and entrepreneurs in Nigeria and Africa, Access bank in collaboration with Microsoft and IBM has unveiled a new inventory, the “African Fintech Foundry.”

The organisations recently announced plans to organise a maiden edition of “AFF DISRUPT” Fintech conference, a platform for start-ups to create linkages and networks that would help grow their businesses.

READ ALSO: Africa Fintech Foundry appoints new head

Victor Okigbo, Head of African Fintech Foundry, during his address to the press; stated that African Fintech Foundry (AFF) innovation is a growth stage accelerator whose primary focus is finding, nurturing and accelerating the growth of Fintech start-ups in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

“AFF is an industry that applies technology to improve financial activities. It goes as far providing new applications, products, new market processes and business models in the financial services industry.  It is composed of one or more complementary financial services and provides an end to end process, via the internet.  All of these are centred on creating an enabling environment in the area of the banking, health, defence and security, agriculture, among others,” Okigbo said.

Also speaking during the conference, Victor Etuokwu, the Executive Director, Personal Banking, Access bank, revealed that the Fintech idea was conceived about a year ago and this was because the world has gone digital. “Having seen that the world has gone digital, and the payment method asides other things have changed, we, as a bank sought ways to create more value to shareholders, stakeholders, customers and the likes. And this innovation was the answer,” Etuokwu said.

“This is a way to grow our market share. Access bank not only wanted to be relevant in a global world, but we also wanted to do things differently and fast. This brought about the invention, African Fintech Foundry (AFF),” he added.

READ ALSO: Funding in Nigerian fintech firms rise 197% in 3 years as payment dominates

Etuokwu further mentioned that innovation is centred on changing the world through product and market development. “This change will be achieved through constant training of the young start-ups. There will be a training and development platforms for people with ideas, making those ideas a reality, promoting local ideas and making the country better by creating job opportunities. We also have technical experts from across the world and bodies such as Microsoft, IBM directly involved in making this a success,” he said.

“AFF DISRUPT” Fintech Conference is now opened and start-ups have until December 1st to apply to launch exhibit or participate in this unique event for the financial technology start-ups which would be held on 14th of December 2017.

“This is a very good opportunity for start-ups to take advantage of the partner network created by AFF Disrupt and its partners to create linkages and networks that can help grow their businesses,” Etuokwu remarked. He said the event will be attended by reputable dignitaries and speakers from all over the world. There will be open discussions to make that step-change from where they are to where they need to be.

Chinyere Okeke