Speaking at the Inclusive FinTech Forum in Kigali, President Kagame said, ’Fintechs are accelerating Africa’s digital transformation’ adding that the impact is evident across the continent, where more jobs, wealth, and opportunities are being created.
However, President Kagame emphasized that Africa has produced a small number of unicorns, and the majority of transactions remain cash-based compared to the rest of the world.
"To sustain the gains already made, we must forge stronger partnerships and build a more equitable, accessible and sustainable fintech ecosystem," he stated.
The President also highlighted the importance of women’s active participation in the fintech space, saying, "That is why we must do more to ensure women are active participants in the fintech space. The numbers do not lie. This can have a positive impact on women-owned businesses and on the industry and economies, in general."
Addressing the challenges faced by Africa, President Kagame emphasized the need to address inadequate levels of broadband coverage, documentation, and financial literacy to improve the delivery of financial services.
He also mentioned the unharmonized regulatory environment across Africa as a persistent challenge, affecting the ability and speed at which fintechs can scale across different jurisdictions.
Rwanda has taken steps to promote financial technology by establishing the Kigali International Financial Centre (KIFC) to support African and international investors. Additionally, the country has implemented policies to facilitate the testing and expansion of tech companies in a smoothly regulated manner.
The Inclusive FinTech Forum brought together business leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, large corporations, and various organizations to forge solutions paving the way for equitable access to fintech inclusion.
President Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia, who also attended the forum, emphasized the significance of accelerating socio-economic transformation, particularly focusing on youth empowerment.
Hichilema stressed that fintech and access to financial services are essential to achieve desired progress. He highlighted the need to make technology accessible to the population and leverage it for job creation.