Before I get started, President, you reminded some of us the old days of the post office. I remember sometimes the money would actually not arrive. Even after filling the forms and everything, the envelop arrives – some people used to avoid that and put just the money in an envelope and post it.
By the time it arrives, you open, you find the letter informing you that somebody sent you ten, twenty dollars. In the end, you realize, there was somewhere in the corner a sellotape. They had removed the money and sealed the envelop again. But those were the days.
Unfortunately, with time – at the same time it comes with good things that also fill the gaps. Technology has been advancing very fast. Also, the people who would otherwise tear the envelop and remove the money, the numbers have also gone up. But technology helps to deny them the opportunity to commit their crime. So, technology is very important and we’ve got to make good use of it.
Ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you all to Kigali for the Inclusive Fintech Forum, and I’m pleased to join you today.
Allow me to begin thanking President Hakainde Hichilema for joining us today. Your presence here shows commitment to developing Fintech in Africa.
I also want to thank the Monetary Authority of Singapore for partnering with us. Singapore partners with Rwanda in many other fields, and we appreciate that, but this time to bring businesses in Singapore and Rwanda closer together. This is a practical demonstration of the good relations between our two countries.
Let me commend Tidjane Thiam, and the entire Rwanda Finance Limited team, for the important work being done to position Rwanda as one of the leading international financial centres.
Fintechs are accelerating Africa’s digital transformation, and the impact is evident.
Across the continent, more jobs, wealth, and opportunities are being created.
At the helm of Africa’s fintech industry is a young and rapidly growing population, ready to innovate solutions and drive financial inclusion.
Africa’s demographic dividend has not gone unnoticed by investors, who in recent years, have increased financing to African fintechs.
Still, compared to the rest of the world, Africa has produced a small number of unicorns, and the majority of transactions remain cash-based.
To sustain the gains already made, we must forge stronger partnerships, and build a more equitable, accessible, and sustainable fintech ecosystem.
The digital economy is not a zero-sum game. Everyone should benefit from its potential.
That is why we must do more to ensure women are active participants in the fintech space.
The numbers do not lie. This can have a positive impact on women-owned businesses, and on the industry, and economies, in general.
Another persistent challenge is Africa’s unharmonized regulatory environment. It affects the ability and speed at which fintechs can scale across different jurisdictions.
In our efforts to become a proof-of-concept hub, Rwanda has established an enabling policy and regulatory environment.
Fintechs are now able to test their solutions, including new and emerging technologies, in a controlled space.
Lastly, to improve the delivery of financial services, we must address the inadequate levels of broadband coverage, documentation, and financial literacy.
This forum aims to create a platform for like-minded individuals to share ideas and collaborate.
Today, this ambition has become a reality.
The key takeaways, which I hope all of you will carry with you from this forum, is that all of us, together, can multiply our wins, and many more people can benefit from this success.
Once again, I welcome you all and wish you a very productive forum. Let me also encourage you to find some time to enjoy what Rwanda has to offer.
Thank you for your kind attention and you are most welcome.