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Strengthen African financial industry, say Gnassingbé, others

The President of Togo, Faure Gnassingbé and other stakeholders have called for the strengthening of the financial industry in Africa.

Their call was disclosed in a statement issued by the organisers of the annual Africa Financial Industry Summit, which opened on Wednesday in Lomé, Togo with  the theme, ‘Building A World-Class African Financial Industry: A $1.5 Trillion Opportunity.’

Other stakeholders making the call includeVice President for Africa of International Finance Corporation, Sérgio Pimenta and the Director of  Africa Financial Industry Summit, Ramatoulaye  Goudiaby.

Gnassingbé, said,  “The theme of crises gives way to the theme of opportunities. Economic dynamism in West Africa gives us reason to be optimistic. Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole is embarking on the path to recovery.  The AfCFTA will anchor this recovery for the long term.” “We cannot regain control of the African  narrative without concerted action. Africa must collectively regain the control of its narrative.”

In his comments, Pimenta, stated that the financial sector plays an absolutely essential role in supporting the emergence of an inclusive and connected Africa, as well as the continent’s energy transition.

He, however, pointed out that “The fate of the AfCFTA does not depend solely on the public sector. The private sector, particularly financial industry, plays a decisive role. There are a lot of challenges. But there are as many opportunities. The financial industry has a crucial role to play in helping the continent seize these opportunities.”

Goudiaby added that Africa is the new frontier, hence it is essential for Africans to harness the attention, saying, “Our firm belief is that we must seize the situation rather than wait for the storm to pass because Africa is the new frontier. In order to address the challenges facing the finance sector which faced multiple crises, AFIS positions itself alongside industry stakeholders as a catalyst for our shared ambitions.”

For two days, African leaders from the public and private sectors  will discuss a sovereign African financial industry, addressing four major challenges: attracting African institutional investments to local capital markets, ensuring free capital movement and regulatory harmonization, promoting talent essential for digital transformation, and fostering innovation, particularly in areas such as climate finance and tokenization.

The event will feature over 30 conferences, workshops, and roundtable discussions whichwill provide leaders with the opportunity to actively contribute to Africa’s economic recovery, positioning AFIS as the essential dialogue platform between public sector actors (Ministers of Economy and Finance, central bankers, regulators) and private sector leaders (heads of major financial institutions, bankers, insurers, fintechs, and mobile money operators, capital markets).

Some of the guests participating in these high-level exchanges include Pimenta, central bank governors, ministers, capital market stakeholder, bank Managing Directors including Jeremy Awori of Ecobank, Oliver Alawuba of the United Bank for Africa and others.

AFIS was founded by Jeune Afrique Media Group in 2021, with the support of IFC (World Bank Group). 

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