While Africa as a continent is steadily rising and has been labeled as “The Growth Continent,” Africa is still perceived by most with eyes of sympathy because of the majorly biased media coverage that focuses on stories of war, hunger, disease and death. Some judge Africa harshly as a dark continent even when there is geological evidence that demonstrates that Africa was a civilized continent extending back to the prehistoric land of Punt, with several other ancient kingdoms that have transcended time. Western media houses, however, seem to be oblivious of these facts. Africa must brace itself to change this perception, solve problems and provide solutions not only for Africa’s consumption but also for her export to the rest of the world. This article will explore how through Fintech, Africa has repositioned itself as a leader.
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The success of Kenya’s M-Pesa, a mobile money platform has formed the basis for mobile money innovations across the globe for instance agent banking which was recently operationalized by the Bank of Uganda . Whereas the rationale might differ for instance, in Africa such technologies are a necessity, while for most of the developed world, they are for convenience – innovation is more or less the same as it solves problems and makes transactions seamless. Matibabu: the Ugandan application provides for a pain free malaria test, Jumia: the first African start-up to get listed on the New York Stock Exchange, BrestIT: a cancer detection technology using a cellphone developed by 3 Ugandan students among others, demonstrate how Africa is becoming a leader in technology.
Africa rising means nothing less than creating and extending her influence to the rest of the world as opposed to the status quo of seeking for donations, grants and relief. There is surely more that Africa can offer to the rest of its kinsmen and the human race as a whole on top of its undoubtedly beautiful geography. There is a rising and a movement on the continent that soon, Africa is to be known as a solid contributor to the solutions of the global problems than being known for its beautiful sceneries, minerals among others. The internet usage is growing and infrastructure developing steadily. Phone usage is on the rise as well as penetration with mobile internet penetration estimated at 23% and global penetration rate of mobile internet estimated to increase to 61% of the population, in 2025 from the 43% that it was in 2017 as reported and predicted by The Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA).
Africa has unquestionably demonstrated that with the enablement of Fintech; she does not only have potential, but strength to go head to head and compete with the world’s greatest in formulating global solutions to global problems facing the population. Further, Fintech innovations are easy to scale up and transfer past the national and international borders, thanks to the internet connectivity that has made the world a global village.