Orrick participated in the 2020 Africa Fintech Summit, which garnered influential speakers and attendees from all around the world to discuss “Africa Fintech: State of the Industry 2020.” The summit was held virtually this year because of the Covid pandemic. The pandemic itself has been driving even more innovation in the fintech sector and creating opportunities for strategic partnerships with international industry leaders. Another recurring theme of the summit was the next global digital currency and the opportunity it presents for the Africa continent, particularly considering the need for more financial inclusion.
Africa has built a mobile money culture and established itself as a leading continent for fintech innovation. Furthermore, over 54% of all startup investment in Africa in 2019 was in the fintech sector. Fintech companies represent 35% of the tech companies that raised at least a million dollar over the past decade, as noted in the Techpoint Africa’s report. This growth is largely driven by increased penetration of mobile and internet use.
Orrick’s associate Réna Kakon moderated the roundtable, which offered insights on the critical challenges and transformative opportunities in the West Africa fintech sector. The discussion addressed telecommunication and financial sector regulatory hurdles. Speakers engaged in conversions on the importance of an increased collaboration among tech companies, the role of regional institutions (such as the West Africa Central Bank) and the relevance of regional trade agreements within ECOWAS and pan African collaborations to create an enabling environment for digital businesses.
Orrick has one of the leading global Fintech practices. For the second year in a row, we are recognized as LendIt’s “Top Law Firm of the Year” and have advised clients across the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Africa on a broad range of matters from venture finance to corporate structuring, data privacy, payments, regulatory and finance, among others.