Afridigest Fintech Review: From financial inclusion to economic inclusion
Week 30 2023: July 23-29
Afridigest is your intelligent guide to Africa’s tech ecosystem. The Fintech Review is a weekly recap of what matters in African fintech.
On to the week’s fintech highlights:
• Two fintech fundraises were announced this week.
• News of the week: Apple Pay went live in Morocco — that’s country #2 in Africa (after SA). Meanwhile, down in Kenya, M-Pesa, which processes some $633M per day, went down thanks to hackers. And in Nigeria, the country’s Central Bank unfroze the bank accounts of Bamboo, Rivevest, Yellow Card, and 437 other companies that were previously under investigation for 'illegal' FX trading.
• Companies appearing in today’s Fintech Review: Bohikor, Acorn Fintech, Changera, Bitmama, Honeycoin, PayCard, M-Pesa, EdomX, Moniepoint, Boya, Momint, Smile ID, Duplo, Flutterwave, & more.
• Executives appearing: Duplo’s Yele Oyekola, Bamboo’s Richmond Bassey, Yellow Card’s Chris Maurice, MotiSure’s Joel Macharia, Juice’s Justin Ziegler, Future Africa’s Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Nuzo’s Charles Nichols, OPay Nigeria’s Olu Akanmu, Appstech’s Rebecca Enonchong, & more.
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Week 30 2023: July 23-29
📰 Thoughts of the Week
According to a number of proponents (e.g., the Central Bank of Nigeria), “The importance [of financial inclusion] derives from the promise it holds as a tool for ... wealth creation.”
But here are some figures:
99% of bank accounts in Nigeria contain less than ₦500,000 (~$625). Source.
97% of bank accounts in Kenya contain less than Sh100,000 (~$700). Source.
93% of bank accounts in Uganda contain less than Sh1,000,000 (~$275). Source.
Financial inclusion & access are important, but they don't magically create wealth.
That’s a thought that came to mind this week as I watched this video of Iyinoluwa Aboyeji at the Inclusive Fintech Forum. Iyin’s talk reminded me of Abraham Augustine’s recent essay on the limits of financial inclusion and all the stats above I’d seen over the years.
While ‘banking the unbanked’ has had a good run, it's indeed time to move beyond financial inclusion to economic inclusion — beyond financial access to financial health.
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