In conjunction with the 74th U.N. General Assembly, Orrick and the Africa Fintech Summit co-hosted a roundtable on Fintech policy across Africa. The event was held at our New York office and featured a lively discussion among influential speakers from private and public sector participants in Fintech.
Fintech has become an important segment of African finance in recent years. As the continent is generally characterized by less developed financial infrastructure, Fintech has provided access to financial services for a wider range of citizens, including those who are unbanked. More broadly, Fintech is an economic enabler that supports innovation in other sectors, including agriculture and infrastructure, which are important to development goals on the African continent. Notably, however, a recent International Monetary Fund report has recognized Africa as the global leader in mobile money innovation, adoption and usage. Accordingly, other regions of the world can learn from Africa’s leadership in this area.
Orrick Of Counsel Thomas Laryea moderated the roundtable, which offered insights on the critical challenges and transformative opportunities in the Africa Fintech sector. The discussion addressed competition and regulatory aspects of interoperability, best practices that can be derived from some of the country-specific experiences, and the implications for Fintech solutions on a regional scale as a result of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement. The panelists also addressed the use of regulatory sandboxes – closed testing environments designed for developing regulatory frameworks for emerging businesses – as a means of mitigating the problem of regulation lagging behind innovation in Fintech.
Orrick has one of the leading global Fintech practices. We are recognized as LendIt’s “Top Law Firm of the Year” 2019 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.