For its fifth showing, the Next Fintech Forum (NFF), among the largest fintech events in Francophone Africa, has been scheduled for 16th and 17th November at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
The forum, themed “Fintech and Commerce: How Fintech will shape commerce in Francophone Africa,” aims to attract innovators, big tech companies, and investors, to francophone Africa while fostering the development of Digital Financial Institutions (DFIs) to enhance financial inclusion.
Speaking on the theme, founder and director of Next Fintech Forum, Alex Sea, stressed the goal of creating an inclusive and multi-stakeholder environment for reflection. “We want to make francophone fintech an attractive market for innovators, big techs, and investors, and develop DFIs to improve financial inclusion. Develop an inclusive and multi-stakeholder crucible for reflection,” Sea stated.
Abidjan’s emergence as a tech hub in the region, while facing healthy competition from Dakar, Senegal, has been strengthened by NFF’s contribution to attracting funding for the ecosystem. Sea noted, “activities on the NFF have enabled geographical growth opportunities for players; assistance agreements between players have been signed, and we have also seen fundraising and investment promises amounting to more than $100 million.”
As the startup economy gains traction across the continent, national ecosystems have begun using such events as platforms to showcase progress, attract talent, and court investors, and also establish themselves as key players in Africa’s tech ecosystem. Aligning with this trend, NFF, backed by the Ivorian government seeks to bring together commercial banks, investors, and startups to discuss industry issues, explore opportunities, and facilitate networking.
NFF 2023 will introduce a fintech academia summit, allowing African scholars from various countries and fields to discuss fintech solutions, and develop programs tailored to Africa’s job market. The summit aims to catalyse the digital transformation of the financial sector through research, education, and collaboration.
According to Sea, the NFF will showcase the potential of trade improved by financial technologies in francophone Africa through a myriad of opportunities.
Recognising the challenges faced by Africa’s blockchain industry, the NFF will host its inaugural blockchain hackathon, encouraging blockchain technology enthusiasts to devise creative solutions with potential funding and implementation. The forum will feature approximately twenty discussions, workshops, panels, and master classes.