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Nigeria’s future will be built on digital enterprises – Rice

Nigeria’s future will be built on digital enterprises – Rice

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The Chief Executive Officer of  Dedalus Global, Mr. Leland Rice; an investment advisory focused on emerging technology in emerging markets, has projected that Nigeria’s future would be built on digital enterprises and not on oil.

Rice, who is also the Founder of Africa’s premier fintech event, the Africa Fintech Summit, said this in at the recent Africa Fintech Summit held for the first time in Lagos, Nigeria.

The Summit — which came up at the heels of its earlier edition in Washington, D.C. last April — featured keynotes and panel discussions on the emerging technologies, payment innovation and regulation, blockchain, investment, lending, and financial inclusion in Africa.

In his words: “The overall level of investor capital, political will, and collaboration around technology in general reflect a growing awareness that Nigeria’s future will be built not on oil and industry but on digital enterprise.”

He said that Nigeria, with all its challenges, offers some of the greatest opportunities adding that its young people, endowed with entrepreneurism and accustomed to finding ways around barriers, possess a bias towards innovation.

That combination, in concert with demographic-driven demand, according to him, positions Nigeria as an important spot to watch on the global fintech map.

“If you’re into demographics you know that Nigeria is Africa’s largest market and that a whopping one-third of its 186 million people (15 and 35 years olds) are tech savvy. And if you’ve ever lived or worked there (especially in Lagos), you know it’s a place that’s powered by pure hustle and entrepreneurial energy. Let’s be clear-eyed for a minute though. There’s no doubt that Nigeria’s infrastructure and policy gaps hinder fintech growth. But in many ways, they also fuel the innovation fire’, he said.

More than 50 speakers and 500 finance professionals, tech enthusiasts, investors, and regulators gathered at the Summit—organized by Dedalus Global—to discuss technologies transforming finance on the continent, debate regulatory policies, compare best practices, and forge new ventures.

The Summit also featured a roundtable for the Global Startup Virtual Conference 2019, which will air in February 2019 on globalstartup.tv; an open banking roundtable on the development of API standards; and a regulation roundtable on the industry responses to the draft guidelines for licensing and regulating payment service banks. Outcomes from these roundtables will be published in the coming weeks.

Keynote speakers included Yewande Sadiku, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC); ‘Lanre Osibona, Special Advisor on ICT to the President of Nigeria; Tayo Oviosu, Founder & CEO of Paga, and Ayotunde Coker, Managing Director, Rack Centre.

Other speakers at the Summit included Dr. Andrew S. Neving, Chief Economist of PwC Nigeria; Temitope Akin-Fadeyi, Head of Financial Inclusion Secretariat of the Central Bank of Nigeria; Iyin Aboyeji, Co-founder of Flutterwave; Victor Asemota, Co-founder of SwiftaCorp; Ercin Eksin, Co-Founder of Lidya; Ekechi Nwokah, CEO of Mines.IO (whose company recently concluded a $13 million Series A fundraising round) and Emmanuel Quartey, Head of Growth at Paystack (whose company recently raised $8 million in Series A funding).

In a bid to recognize excellence in innovation and entrepreneurship, the Summit also hosted an awards ceremony.

The categories and winners were: Innovation of the Year: Binkabi; Excellence in Blockchain: Seso Global; Excellence in Payments: Flutterwave; Excellence in Lending and Financing: Renmoney and Excellence in AI: Branch International.

Other winners included: Excellence in Governance and Policy: Central Bank of Nigeria; Most Innovative Bank: Access Bank; Best Customer Engagement Tool: United Bank for Africa (UBA); AFTS Tech for Good Award: Piggybank.ng; Best Infrastructure Innovation: Rack Centre; Accelerator of the Year: Venture Platform and Investor of the Year: EchoVC Partners.

The bi-annual Africa Fintech Summit will be returning to Washington, D.C., in April 2019 in line with the spring meetings of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Dedalus Global is an investment and strategy advisory firm focusing on emerging markets and emerging technologies.

With networks throughout Africa and the Middle East, we leverage granular market knowledge to drive innovation, accelerate capital deployment, and create value for our clients and the economies where they operate.

Also, the Africa Fintech Summit is a biannual event that brings together leading disruptors, tech and finance professionals, regulators, and investors from around the globe to debate policies, compare best practices, and forge Africa-focused ventures. AFTS leverages the growth of the fintech sector in Africa to bring key stakeholders to discuss the technologies transforming finance on the continent.

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