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Finance - News around Africa - Profiles - Startup - August 18, 2020

Here’s what Africa Stands to Gain from UK Fintech Programme

The UK Department of International Trade (DIT) launched the Tech for Growth program with the goal of fostering trade opportunities with developing countries through technological acceptance and improved exposure. Africa is poised to be a major recipient when it takes place in the first phase.

The DIT aims to boost the adoption of financial services in the region, as well as UK-Africa fintech trade, among others. Here are the details.

Increased Access to Financial Services

Access to financial services across the continent remains generally low, particularly in Subsaharan Africa. 60% of people do not have access to conventional types of financial services such as insurance and banking. Cell phone use is up by 40%, an indication that inspires DIT to increase financial services access in the area.

The program will create a UK-Africa ‘Tech for Growth’ ecosystem that funnels financial services to underserved areas. This includes regions in the UK and Africa while promoting collaborations between African and British tech firms.

UK-Africa Fintech Exchange

The initiative also aims to promote the FinTech exchange between UK and Africa by identifying economic opportunities and barriers to development. In an attempt to boost the African tech market, DIT will foster strong ties with other African governments and regulators.

READ ALSO: Three African Fintech Startups Selected for Catalyst Fund’s Accelerator

Whilst speaking on the launch, UK Minister for Investment Gerry Grimstone said, “The UK is home to some of the most innovative tech companies in the world while also being one of the deepest and most globally connected financial centres. It is why we are the top choice for tech firms seeking a base to launch internationally into new markets.”

Tech for Growth published a research document, themed, “Inclusive Tech: Overcoming barriers to scale in emerging markets” during the launch. The research findings were achieved in collaboration with a FinTech accelerator known as Catalyst Fund.

Maelis Carraro, the director of Catalyst Fund stated that “This report identifies the key barriers innovators face and offers potential solutions.”

The programme will expand to Latin America and South-East Asia after the first year.

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