The Africa Financial Industry Summit (AFIS), hosted in Lomé, Togo, organized by the pan-African magazine Jeune Afrique, has swiftly become a pivotal assembly, attracting over 800 leaders in the African finance sphere.
Despite facing notable hurdles, the continent’s financial institutions are steadily carving out their place on the global stage. As international competitors take a step back, an opportune moment emerges for the expansion and elevation of Africa’s financial sector.
However, managing swelling public debt, confronting climate-related adversities, and seeking fresh financial avenues remain paramount challenges for the industry. Serge Ékué, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the West African Development Bank, underscores the critical role of robust regulation in steering the sector’s swift and sustainable growth.
At the summit, discussions revolve around several key themes, including the substantial cost differential in international borrowing faced by sub-Saharan Africa, placing a significant burden on local governments. Uzziel Ndagijimana, Rwandan Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, advocates for a more comprehensive consideration of structural factors by rating agencies to alleviate this situation.
Another focal point is asset tokenization, an innovative approach that transforms assets into digital tokens for online trading, promising access to vast liquidity by making high-value assets more reachable.
Cyber-insurance is gaining prominence as a topic of increasing significance. African banks grapple with the challenge of cyber-attacks, experiencing an average of 2,164 attacks per week, according to Alain Kaninda, Director General of the Regulatory Authority.
Within a span of just three years, AFIS has solidified its position as a cornerstone event, uniting leaders in African finance to deliberate on the hurdles and prospects within an ever-evolving sector.