Revolutionizing Africa’s Fintech Landscape: Calls for Foundational Digital Public Infrastructure

3i summit on fintech

In a visionary address, stakeholders in Africa’s financial technology (fintech) sector rallied behind a bold strategy to accelerate the continent’s fintech transformation and seamlessly integrate with the global fintech ecosystem. 

Ravi Menon, Senior Mentor at Elevandi and Singapore’s Ambassador for Climate Action, emphasized the critical need to capitalize on existing components and lay the groundwork for a next-generation Foundational Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) architecture, tailored to Africa’s unique needs.

“Many of the key components for a FinTech ecosystem are falling into place in Africa, but how can Africa build on these to systematically accelerate the FinTech transformation and integrate with the global fintech ecosystem?.

“The time is ripe for Africa to create a next-generation Foundational Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) architecture, consent-based and pan-African,” Ravi quizzed.

Speaking at the 3i Africa Summit in Accra, Ghana, the Elevandi mentor proposed that the DPI be hinged on three fundamental pillars encompassing Trusted Identity Infrastructure, where the continent ensure secure and reliable digital identities for individuals and businesses, Interoperable Payment Systems, where seamless transactions across diverse platforms and networks are facilitated and lastly, Verified Individual and Business Data Exchanges, by establishing mechanisms for the secure exchange of verified data.

Acknowledging the scale of the undertaking, Ravi emphasized the necessity of high-level guidance and a robust governance structure. Proposals included assembling a group of key pilot sponsors, chaired by participating Heads of State and featuring C-Suite representation from both public and private sector stakeholders.

“This is an ambitious undertaking. It will require high-level guidance and a robust governance structure.A good way to start would be to bring together a group of key pilot sponsors, under the chairmanship of participating Heads of State along with C-Suite representation from public and private sector stakeholders,” he added. 

As Africa stands at the cusp of a fintech revolution, the call to action resonates: it is time to lay the foundation for a digitally empowered future, driving economic growth, and fostering inclusive development across the continent.

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