The Next Fintech Forum (NFF), the largest fintech event in Francophone Africa, is set to return for its fifth edition on November 16th and 17th at the Radisson Blu in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. This year’s theme is “Fintech and Commerce: How Fintech Will Shape Commerce in Francophone Africa.”
The NFF brings together commercial banks, investors, startups, and scholars to discuss industry issues and opportunities, network, and learn from each other. This year’s forum will feature a fintech academia summit, a blockchain hackathon, and around twenty discussions, workshops, panels, and master classes.
The NFF has played a significant role in attracting funding for the Francophone African fintech ecosystem. Since its inception, the forum has enabled geographical growth opportunities for players, facilitated assistance agreements between players, and seen fundraising and investment promises amounting to more than $100 million.
This year’s NFF is particularly timely as Francophone Africa is experiencing a surge in fintech activity. The region is home to a number of fast-growing fintech startups, and investors are increasingly taking notice. The NFF will provide a platform for these startups to showcase their innovations and connect with potential investors and partners.
The NFF is also an important opportunity to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the Francophone African fintech ecosystem. The forum will bring together experts from across the industry to share their insights on topics such as:
- How fintech can be used to improve financial inclusion and access to finance for small businesses
- How fintech can help to reduce the cost of remittances and cross-border payments
- How fintech can be used to promote digital commerce and e-payments
- How fintech can be used to combat fraud and money laundering
According to Sea, “This year, the NFF will give opportunities to players to discover the potential of trade catalysed by financial technologies in francophone Africa through an exhibition of opportunities. The presence of stakeholders in the value chain opens the door to discovering and highlighting national projects and regional ones, by making it possible to meet decision-makers and innovators, which will help traders understand and appropriate the technologies. This will allow them to be more efficient and develop their income, meet fintech founders.”
In addition, as Africa’s blockchain industry has been beset by startup closures and setbacks over the past year, the forum will hold its first-ever blockchain hackathon, bringing together enthusiasts of blockchain technology to take on the challenge of coming up with creative solutions that have the potential to be funded and implemented. The forum will also feature around twenty discussions, workshops, panels, and master classes.
Abidjan’s growth as a tech hub in the region has grown with healthy competition from Dakar, and the NFF’s contribution to attracting funding for the ecosystem has seen a significant rise since its inception. “Activities on the NFF have enabled geographical growth opportunities for players; assistance agreements between players have been signed, and we have also seen fundraising and investment promises amounting to more than $100 million,” Sea told TechCabal.
The NFF is a must-attend event for anyone interested in the future of fintech in Francophone Africa. The forum provides a unique opportunity to learn from and network with the region’s leading fintech players, investors, and scholars.