Fintech Bridge To Unlock New Opportunities Between Two Powerhouse African Economies

Published 6 months ago
By Forbes Africa | Oluwatomisin Amokeoja
Image supplied by Central Bank of Nigeria

New MoU signed between Central Bank of Nigeria and Central Bank of Egypt to boost fintech innovations.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) are enhancing fintech innovation and collaboration between their African powerhouse economies, Nigeria and Egypt.

At the Seamless North Africa 2023 conference this month in Egypt’s capital Cairo, the apex banks signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a Nigeria-Egypt fintech bridge.

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Aishah Ahmad, Deputy Governor of the CBN, said at the signing that months of engagement on payments, fintech, and financial inclusion paved the way for the collaboration.

“We look forward to cultivating an innovative space for fintech startups and entrepreneurs in Egypt and Nigeria to accelerate financial inclusion, deepen our payment systems and drive economic growth across the African continent,” she said.

The growth of fintech in both Nigeria and Egypt is part of a larger trend of its development in Africa.

According to a 2022 McKinsey report, each of the two countries is expected to show a growth rate of 12% per annum, until 2025, forming part of the 11 key markets.

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A research paper, An Overview of Fintech Evolution in Nigeria, highlights that Nigeria’s fintech landscape has over 200 startups, with key stakeholders such as banks, telecom companies, and the government.

According to the CBE, the number of technology companies that offered fintech services in Egypt grew five-fold to 177 in 2022 from 32 in 2017.

Industry experts view the collaboration as a game-changer for the global remittance space and cross-border trade in Africa, encompassing a wide array of initiatives, including joint regulatory innovation projects, coordinated licensing and supervisory frameworks, information sharing, fintech cross referrals, and talent development.

Tomisin Salam, the CEO of FiatMatch Inc, tells FORBES AFRICA: “The partnership will unlock new opportunities for businesses, attract fresh investment, and streamline the efficiency of fintech companies in Africa.

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“With China and Saudi Arabia already transacting in their local currencies, this move sets a commendable precedent for other African states to follow suit, and potentially increase the demand for local currencies in the continent,” says Salam.