With participants who represent over $4.5bn in private equity and venture capital funding, the AFTS is the premier global initiative dedicated to financial technology in Africa. The bi-annual summit occurs each April in Washington, D.C., and each November in a different African city.
According to a statement by the organiser, the decision to pick Addis Ababa was unanimously agreed by the AFTS Advisory Board. The statement added that it is in recognition of the country's rapidly growing economy, extensive infrastructure investments across the last two decades, and ambitious reform agenda that includes partial privatisation of the national telecom monopoly and ongoing liberalisation of the financial sector.
“I am thrilled that this great event is coming to Addis Ababa,” said the Honorable Getahun Mekuria (Dr.-Ing) Minister of Innovation and Technology, Ethiopia. “And there is no better time than Nov 2019 for this Summit to come to Addis, to show to our policy makers the great economic impacts fintechs are bringing to other economies and to prove that our current sweeping digital reforms are absolutely correct.”
H.E. Fitsum Arega, Ethiopian Ambassador to the US, added: "I am very much pleased to welcome Africa Fintech Summit delegates to the continent's political capital and a nexus of global events, Addis Ababa. Ethiopia's commitment to Pan-African economic growth and integration is evident from its founding membership of OAU/AU, its offer of visa-on-arrival to all African travelers, its ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) last April, and by its flag-carrier Ethiopian Airlines, which connects 61 African cities to more than 120 destinations worldwide. Ethiopia is well positioned to welcome global travellers for the Africa Fintech Summit.”
“In addition, the country’s renewed focus on digitalising the broader economy and driving greater financial inclusion through innovation, there is no better time to host the Fintech Summit in Ethiopia,” the Ambassador added.
The AFTS is organised by Dedalus Global, an investment and communications advisory focusing on emerging markets and emerging technologies, and by Ibex Frontier, an investment consultancy and route-to-Ethiopian-market advisory.
“We are extremely proud to bring AFTS to Ethiopia, the 2nd most populous nation in Africa that is at the inflicting point of digitalisation, as e-commerce and financial inclusion are of prime focus both by the Government and the tech sector. We look forward to welcoming global investors and Fintech eco-system players with warm Ethiopian hospitality,” said Zekarias Amsalu, Founder & MD of Ibex Frontier.
This past April, the AFTS in Washington, D.C. hosted 200 entrepreneurs, bank executives, policy makers, and corporate influencers from over 20 countries.
Past AFTS speakers include Jim Ovia, Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank; Clinton Townsend, Director, Global Fintech at Visa; Olugbenga Agboola, Co-Founder and CEO of Flutterwave; Tayo Oviosu, Founder and CEO of Paga; Andi Dervishi, Chief Investment Officer at IFC; and Worku Gachou, Managing Director for Africa, OPIC.
The AFTS Addis Ababa will focus on the future of banking, mobile money growth and integration, policy and regulation, blockchain, digital identity, remittances, and financial inclusion. Strategic partners for the Summit include the Corporate Council on Africa, the US State Department, the US-Nigeria Council, the Congo Business Network, and PeaceTech Lab.