(Togo First) – The Togolese President, Faure Gnassingbé, launched the second edition of the Africa Financial Industry Summit (AFIS) today, Nov. 28. The two-day event is being held in Lomé and it is the first time it takes place physically.
Over 600 decision-makers from the African finance industry are attending the summit. These include central bank governors (of Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, the BCEAO, etc.), ministers, regulators, bankers, CEOs of Fintechs, banks, and insurance companies (Equity Group, Ecobank, BOA Group, SANLAM, NSIA, etc.), and financial actors. They will discuss several topics such as agricultural finance, exchange interconnection, mobile money, climate finance, AfCFTA, cryptocurrencies, central bank digital currencies, and Basel III issues, among others.
According to the organizers of the event which is sponsored by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), the AFIS should “allow African industry leaders to contribute to the continent’s economic recovery through the development of a competitive, innovative, inclusive, and sustainable financial industry.”
Amir Ben Yamed, Director of Jeune Afrique Media Group, which is one of the organizers, claims that seeking financial sovereignty must be a priority for Africa. He believes the continent should put its financial industry under the international spotlight. This is an opinion shared by Sergio Pimenta, Vice President, IFC. Pimenta even added that African banks must take over the financing of African trade, in a context where the latter has an annual deficit of nearly $90 billion.
For President Gnassingbe, however, the future of African finance will be built through a tight collaboration between the governments and the private sector, especially given the current global crises–the war in Ukraine and the Covid pandemic, notably.
Fiacre E. Kakpo