MAHLATSE TOLAMO | DECEMBER 15, 2020
The Global Fintech Ecosystem Report has ranked Johannesburg second under the ‘Sub-Saharan Africa Fintech Ecosystem to Watch Out’ while Cape Town is ranked first. Both cities are followed by Kigali, Kinshasa, and Lagos respectively.
This report is released annually by Startup Genome LLC in partnership with TWC, GEN, Crunchbase, Deal room, Bella Market and Tech Nation with the aim of accelerating startup success and ecosystem performance everywhere through working together with global thought leaders to define and execute robust policies and programmes that drive lasting change.
Africa is an emerging market with a growing population and economy which includes the tech and fintech community. According to the report, emerging markets have a relatively new financial infrastructure which has limited regulation and early Fintech solutions often coming from non-financial players (Telecoms, E-commerce) and only now are seeing deeper growth led by policy change to ensure these solutions become part of the core financial systems. Furthermore, the International Monetary Fund estimates that Africa’s informal economy is one of the world’s largest, giving fintech startups and SMEs the opportunity to tap into this large pool of unbanked and underbanked population.
Johannesburg is considered a potential fintech magnet in Africa for low-income customers, financial inclusion fintech and insurance because it has some of Africa’s leading banks and financial institutions. Additionally, the city has the second largest tech industry as 44% of South Africa’s tech startups are based here and had more than 200 programmes offering support to startups last year. Some of the Johannesburg based innovative fintech solutions are: Naked Insurance, an automated insurance app and Easy Equities, a low-cost investment platform.
Looking into Africa’s ecosystem, Egypt’s capital city, Cairo and Uganda’s capital city, Kampala were listed amongst ‘The World’s Ecosystems to Watch’. Kampala’s ecosystem had an average annual growth rate of 35% since 2016 and approximately 80% fintech startups operate in the payment sector. Cairo’s Fintech ecosystem is valued at approximately $999million and has attracted the largest number of investment deals in MENA in 2019 with FinTech at the top of the sector. Furthermore, the country has a large customer market with a young population of about $20 million tech survey customers.
The Fintech sector is important in developing markets because it improves the daily lives of people, extends financial inclusion and it is the greatest contributor in the global economy. While the world has faced unprecedented challenges, this sector has managed to remain relevant.
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