FinTech to Contribute $150 Billion to Africa’s GDP

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FinTech to contribute to SSA’s economic output by at least $150 billion by 2022.


The FinTech (financial-technology) industry’s contribution to Sub-Saharan Africa’s (SSA’s) economic output has been touted to increase from 40 billion to at least $150 billion by 2022 – according to FSD Africa, a development-finance organisation.

The industry currently employs about 3 million people directly and indirectly within the region, FSD Africa Financial Markets Director, Evans Osano, said in a recent interview. SSA’s GDP is about $1.6 trillion, according to data compiled by the International Monetary Fund.

“If you look at the value chain, most of that money is coming out of mobile-phone companies,” Osano said. “So, from the other support services the contribution is not much, but is expected to increase as FinTech develops to address the financial needs of people or making services more accessible.”

Safaricom Plc, East Africa’s biggest mobile-network operator, developed one of the world’s first mobile phone-based money transfer services, and says 88 % of its almost 30 million customers now use it. About 21 % of adults in SSA have a mobile-money account, which is double the amount, since 2014, and the highest of any region in the world – according to the World Bank’s Global Findex Data.

FSD Africa is working with some lenders, insurers and FinTech companies in several countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Malawi, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Zambia – to increase the use of data analytics, FSD Africa Financial Institutions Director Paul Musoke said in the same interview.

“What we’re focusing on is data, availability of data and how institutions can take on this data and utilise it to gain better insight of their customers and product development,” he said.

FSD is working with companies that are developing technology to collect premiums from the diaspora and to enable insurers in various African nations to cover death and medical-related expenses, Musoke said. It is also looking into using technology to collect funds among Africans in the diaspora to invest in building homes.

It is still too early for African governments to start taxing start-up companies in the FinTech industry and regulations should encourage innovation, rather than focusing on highly-regulating the sector, he said.

“From a regulatory point of view, it is about protecting the consumers who use these apps, that is where the real concern is,” Musoke said.

Source: ASV & Bloomberg.