MENA Fintech Association builds on booming Africa markets

The MENA Fintech Association establishes dedicated Africa Committee to help steer the double-digital expected growth across the continent as uptake booms

Think fintech in the MENA region and thoughts probably turn to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Rightly so, as both countries are in the top 10 globally when it comes to fintech investment. However, there is incredible opportunity in Africa.

According to McKinsey research earlier this year, fintech is set to grow by 10% per year through 2025 in Africa – reaching US$150 billion. This is being driven by increasing smartphone adoption, better network coverage, and a young digital-first demographic.

Perfect timing, then, for the MENA Fintech Association (MFTA) to establish its Africa Committee to empower and support the fintech ecosystem across the continent.

Yacine Faqir has been appointed Chair of the networking group, bringing a wealth of expertise and experience to his new role, in addition to his ‘day job’ role as Vice President of Products & Solutions, MENA West, Mastercard.

"Having followed the work of the MENA Fintech Association for many years, I wanted to see greater contributions towards the African continent, where the industry is booming yet remaining closely linked to the Middle East,” says Faqir. 

“My role at Mastercard gives me the opportunity to engage and interact with fintechs across 23 countries in the MENA West cluster. At Mastercard, we are helping to fuel the fintech ecosystem through our solutions and access to our network with the aim to build an inclusive economy. This is a fantastic opportunity to bring two continents together and collectively shape the future of the industry.”

Faqir will need to draw on his understanding of the industry to foster collaboration and growth of fintechs in Africa.

Nameer Khan, Chairman of the MENA Fintech Association, said there has been significant interest from fintechs in Africa to join the association, and they have formed crucial alliances with key fintech associations across the region. 

“However, many countries remain unrepresented, and there is a growing appetite for them to engage with our members and expand their networks while forging strong partnerships,” said Khan.

South Africa, Ghana, Egypt show strong fintech potential

The McKinsey report suggested key markets for growth in Africa are Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda – which combined account for 70% of Africa's GDP and half of its total population. 

South Africa is the current market leader, but Ghana, Nigeria and Egypt are all expected to show double-digit growth.

The new MFTA Africa Committee will play a key role in showcasing and promoting the industry, with a focus on digital transformation, e-commerce and payments, policy and regulation, cybersecurity, and the future of finance.

Indeed, McKinsey researchers identified supportive regulatory frameworks, increased access to funding and investment, and responsible and transparent operations as some of the key challenges facing the industry’s growth.

There is great opportunity in the wider MENA region, as Khan told Business Chief in March.

The MENA region's fintech industry is well-positioned for growth, with global fintech-as-a-service market size projected to reach US$949.49 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 17.2%," said Khan. 

“The region has already seen significant fintech investments, with over US$819 million invested in the sector in the first half of 2022 alone. This presents an unprecedented opportunity for financial services providers in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA) region to redefine the industry's future, as they operate in an evolving landscape.”


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