AfricaNenda has officially launched!
7 October 2021
On 7 October 2021, along with leaders in telecommunications, financial technology, development, and the regional and international banking ecosystem, AfricaNenda announced its launch as a new, Africa-led organisation aimed at accelerating instant and inclusive payment systems, through partnerships with African governments, regional economic communities and private sector associations.
AfricaNenda’s launch follows a series of high-level forums conducted with prominent experts and leaders to discuss critical challenges, trends and opportunities for digital financial inclusion on the continent.
Award-winning journalist and CNBC news anchor Fifi Peters moderated the launch event, which featured a keynote address by Marday Venkatasamy, chairman of the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Business Council, on the need for accelerating financial inclusion across Africa. A second keynote address, delivered by Maureen Mbaka, chief administrative secretary of Kenya’s Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, focused on shaping the future of the digital economy.
The keynote addresses followed an introduction to AfricaNenda, its inspiration and ambitions by Dr Robert Ochola, CEO of AfricaNenda. He introduced its vision and mission, and its strategy for accelerating the growth of instant and inclusive payment systems (IIPS) throughout the African continent. He brought to everybody’s attention that more than 400-million people are financially excluded on the continent, of whom 60% are women. He charted out the pivotal role that AfricaNenda will play to ensure the acceleration of instant and inclusive payment systems in support of universal financial inclusion in Africa by 2030.
Complementary to its approach on partnerships, AfricaNenda also celebrated its newest partners with the official signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by Dr Ochola, AfricaNenda deputy CEOs Akinwale Goodluck and Sabine Mensah, and the new partners, COMESA Business Council vice-chairperson Mucai Kunyiha, COMESA Business Council 2nd vice-chairperson Sachen Gudka, and Rwanda Information Society Authority CEO Innocent Bagamba Muhizi.
Mr Gudka and Mr Muhizi shared remarks on the partnership and the opportunities in inclusive payment systems. Mr Gudka outlined the shared objective for scaling IIPS through AfricaNenda’s approach in providing project definition and vision, scheme design and structuring, readiness assessments, advocacy, and policy support. In his remarks, Mr Muhizi shared a quote by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, “When the centre does not hold, things fall apart,” the analogy being that interoperability is the glue that holds together payment gateway systems and other financial services.
A panel discussion hosted by Mrs Mensah focused on how to build a “pan-African movement towards inclusive payment systems”. Insights were delivered by an expert panel that included Dr Olorunsola Olowofeso, director-general of the West African Monetary Institute, Stefan Nalletamby, director of the Financial sector Development Department of the African Development Bank, and Angela Wamola, acting head of sub-Saharan Africa for the GSMA.
Lastly, closing remarks were delivered by our supporters, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors senior vice-president and COO Nicholas Hodges and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation programme officer Dilwonberish Aberra, on their vision for AfricaNenda and what they hope it will achieve.
The event concluded with a final address and vote of thanks by Dr Ochola, who informed the attendees that AfricaNenda will be working on the development of best practice tools, as well as facilitating knowledge forums and digital payment training. He invited all payments industry practitioners to join and sign up for AfricaNenda’s community of practice.
AfricaNenda is excited to embark on the journey ahead.