MENA Fintech Association: new committee will focus on Africa

MENA Fintech Association has established a dedicated committee designed to support and empower Africa's emerging fintech economy

The MENA Fintech Association has set up a new committee to empower and support the emerging fintech ecosystem in Africa.

According to McKinsey research published earlier this year, fintech in Africa is set to grow by 10% per year through 2025, reaching US$150bn. This is being driven by increasing smartphone adoption; better network coverage; and a young, digital-first demographic.

Despite this, Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE often take the limelight as emerging fintech hubs, despite Africa's huge need for financial services and promising startup scene. Just yesterday, Nigerian insurtech startup MyCover.ai raised US$1.25m to overhaul the region's insurtech sector.

Yacine Faqir – who is also Vice President of Products & Solutions, MENA West at Mastercard – has been appointed chair of the fintech association's new networking group.

Association will engage with Africa's fintechs

"Having followed the work of the MENA Fintech Association for many years, I wanted to see greater contributions towards the African continent, where the industry is booming yet remaining closely linked to the Middle East,” says Faqir. 

“My role at Mastercard gives me the opportunity to engage and interact with fintechs across 23 countries in the MENA West cluster. At Mastercard, we are helping to fuel the fintech ecosystem through our solutions and access to our network with the aim to build an inclusive economy. This is a fantastic opportunity to bring two continents together and collectively shape the future of the industry.”

Nameer Khan, Chairman of the MENA Fintech Association, claims there has been significant interest from fintechs in Africa to join the association, and they have formed crucial alliances with key fintech associations across the region. 

“Many countries remain unrepresented, and there is a growing appetite for them to engage with our members and expand their networks while forging strong partnerships,” Khan says.

MENA Fintech Association's new committee is chaired by Yacine Faqir

African countries have sizeable fintech potential

The McKinsey report suggested key markets for growth in Africa are Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda – which together account for 70% of Africa's GDP and half of its total population. 

South Africa is the current market leader, but Ghana, Nigeria and Egypt are all expected to show double-digit growth.

MENA Fintech Association's Africa Committee will play a key role in showcasing and promoting the industry. It will focus on digital transformation, ecommerce and payments, policy and regulation, cybersecurity, and the future of finance.

Khan believes that Africa's fintech economy is well-placed to capitalise on a projected market size totalling almost US$950bn by 2030.

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