Now in its fifth edition, the Next Fintech Forum (NFF) in Abidjan, one of the largest fintech events in French-speaking Africa, is organizing its event around the theme “Fintech and commerce: How Fintech will shape commerce in French-speaking Africa », November 16 and 17 at the Radisson Blu, Abidjan.
“We want to make French-speaking fintech an attractive market for innovators, big tech and investors, and develop DFIs to improve financial inclusion. Develop an inclusive, multi-stakeholder think tank,” Alex Sea, founder and director of the Next Fintech Forum, told TechCabal.
As the startup economy expands across the continent, national ecosystems have turned to events to showcase their progress and attract talent and investors in order to establish themselves as serious players in the African technological ecosystem. In Morocco, GITEX, the world’s largest technology fair, held its first event in Africa
where the government has selected 100 startups in its startup development program to demonstrate the country’s startup ambitions, while this week the Ugandan government is hosting a investors summit to attract investors as the race for East Africa’s second-largest tech ecosystem heats up.
With the support of the Ivorian government, NFF follows the same model by bringing together commercial banks, investors and startups to discuss industry issues, opportunities and networking. This year, the forum adds a fintech academic summit where African academics from different countries and areas of expertise can deliberate on fintech solutions and develop programs tailored to the African job market. The summit will also enable these scholars to catalyze the digital transformation of the financial sector through research, education and cooperation.
According to Sea, “this year, the NFF will give stakeholders the opportunity to discover the potential of trade catalyzed by financial technologies in French-speaking Africa through an exhibition of opportunities. The presence of actors in the value chain opens the door to the discovery and promotion of national and regional projects, by making it possible to meet decision-makers and innovators, which will help traders to understand and appropriate the technologies. This will allow them to be more efficient and develop their income, meet the fintech founders.
Additionally, as the African blockchain industry has faced shutdowns and startup setbacks over the past year, the forum will host its first-ever blockchain hackathon, bringing together blockchain technology enthusiasts to challenge the challenge of coming up with creative solutions that have the potential to be funded and implemented. The forum will also offer around twenty discussions, workshops, panels and master classes.
Abidjan’s growth as a technology hub in the region has grown thanks to healthy competition from Dakar, and the NFF’s contribution to attracting funding for the ecosystem has seen a significant increase since its creation. “Activities on the NFF have enabled geographic growth opportunities for players; support agreements between players have been signed, and we have also seen fundraising and investment pledges amounting to over $100 million,” Sea told TechCabal.