The EIB West and Central Africa SME Banking and Microfinance Academy 2022
Topic 9: How blockchain can transform African financial digitalization and benefit SMEs?
20October 2022, 01 pm GMT (Abidjan) / 02 pm (Cotonou, Douala, and Kinshasa)/ 03 pm (Paris, Frankfurt, Lusaka, Harare, and Johannesburg) / 04 pm (Addis-Ababa, Nairobi)
1. Background and Introduction
Within the context of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Technical Assistance Financial Sector Programme for West and Central Africa, Making Finance Work for Africa (MFW4A) and the IPC, Horus and IECD Consortium are hosting a series of webinars for banks and microfinance institutions (MFIs) operating in these regions. EIB’s mission clearly aims to:
- to Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in line with banking and microfinance institutions (MFIs) regulatory requirements, and
- (PFIs) deliver financial services on a credit worthiness basis, proactively managing their loan portfolios including present and future Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) and ensuring the safety of customer deposits.
SMEs confront numerous hurdles during their growth stages. Financing, funding, and scaling their activities are all issues they face. It’s also difficult for them to accept payments and hire the other additional services they’ll need to expand or go worldwide. These problems can be solved with blockchain technology.
This ninth webinar will explore: “How blockchain can transform African financial digitalization and benefit SMEs”
The blockchain technology offers solutions to the challenges surrounding trade finance and funding and many other inefficiencies and problems facing SMEs. For example, smart contracts as well as safe and secure data transactions may make use of automated services to improve client satisfaction and also optimize supply chains.
Below are few benefits of blockchain for SMEs:
Blockchain technology as a concept could potentially solve many challenges — not only in payments, but also in other adjacent industries. With regards to the latter point, finding viable options to solving payments interoperability is perhaps the most critical challenge to solve in order for the digital opportunities in Africa to reach their full potential. Interoperability between the switches in the different regions — and between payment providers such as banks, FinTechs and mobile money operators — will simplify the exchange of money and trigger a significant change in payments. Additionally, leveraging the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS), a centralized intra-African payment and settlement infrastructure that enables instant payments across borders in local currency, is another way to achieve a stronger interoperable system.
Blockchain technology is on its way to transforming Africa’s financial digitalization. Such a digitalization process is enhancing service delivery with specific products and services through efficiently outlined data management technologies and institutional digitalization processes.
At the end of the webinar, participants should have gained awareness and basic knowledge on:
- The solutions that blockchain can provide to African financial institutions and how it can help achieve financial inclusion.
- How blockchain can help solve many challenges in Africa’s payments space
- The initial capital costs of blockchain processing system
- Understanding the legal framework enabling blockchain
3. Event format and audience
The webinar will last about 75 minutes and will be held in French with simultaneous translation in English. It will combine presentations followed by a Q&A session provoking a panel.
The target audience comprises middle and senior managers of banks and financial institutions operating in West & Central Africa. At the end of the webinar, key takeaways will be summarized in a post-event report and shared with participants and other stakeholders within the African financial ecosystem. A digital version will also be posted on MFW4A portal for public dissemination.
4. Tentative speakers
Introductory remarks: Head of European Investment Bank (EIB) Regional Representation in Central or West Africa (TBD)
Moderator: Nishika Bajaj, blockchain expert, financial communications specialist, Platform Africa and Perpetual Motion Ltd
- Blaise Bayuo, blockchain specialist, Co-founder, Sesacash, Ghana
- Jamelino Agokbeto, payment systems expert, regional director, AfricaNenda
- Dramane Meite, crypto, digital assets & fintech expert, Hashdex