KAMPALA – The 4th edition of the annual FinTech conference will take place on 13th October 2022, the Financial Technologies Services Providers’ Association (FITSPA), the umbrella body for FinTechs in Uganda has said
The board made the announcement on Monday during a press briefing at Sheraton Hotel Kampala.
Under the theme “Investments and Partnerships – How to Thrive in Uganda’s FinTech eco-system”, stakeholders in the industry will converge to discuss the progress being made in the industry as more FinTechs get licensed and what challenges still lie ahead.
FITSPA, with 189 members celebrates 5 years of existence with several milestones.
FITSPA will also launch two key products; the Deal book and a feasibility study which will uniquely position the industry players to take advantage of the market opportunities.
Kevin Wavah, FITSPA Board Vice-Chairperson says over the past 5 years, the financial services sector has undergone a series of digital disruptions that has led to the emergence of a FinTech industry that is succeeding either as stand-alone or crucial parts of value chains.
He says the growth of the industry has exposed the need for FinTechs to collaborate with the different specialized and non-specialized professional services to realize wholesome business growth.
He highlighted that the industry has grown tremendously over the past 5 years, having started the Association with 5 members but having grown to 189 member entities to date. He added that beyond the software developers and programmers, the FinTech eco-system has grown and FITSPA is engaging the different stakeholders who contribute to the growth of the industry.
“Also in the villages, people have phones, now they can access mobile money and the transfer of wealth has basically left from the traditional way of doing business. The people in the villages might have produce and they want to sell their produce with a text message, they can know what the prices are and what they should be selling their goods and services,” said Kevin.
“That’s the reason why this FinTechs around here in our ecosystem, is the backward linkage with the last mile to make sure that there is a bridge in between the services that are being delivered, because the last services transportation, everybody is connected to a smartphone, and you can easily reach anybody now with WhatsApp,” he added.
Mr. Kevin commended the media noting that they are key stakeholders and play a key role in shaping the narrative around the industry.
He said the Association has structured initiatives that will directly engage the media in order to ensure they have the necessary resources to foster engagement, continuity and uniform development across the eco-system.
Ms Ziannah Muddu – FITSPA’s Engagement Partner said that the forthcoming conference is intended at attracting potential investors out there.
“…we’ve partnered with diverse partners where national associations like FITSPA come together so they can attract opportunities for all.”
She noted that previously all the investment was going to the bigger economies of Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa, and none was coming to Uganda because no one knew about what the country was doing.
“… our goal is really to expose our members to opportunities, both investment and business opportunities, …we tap into existing partnerships, say the Africa FinTech network, where we have a seat at the table and once the opportunities come in, they get to know that Uganda has, we get to present our members at the table. That’s one tool.”
Muddu says they have also partnered with the East African Community which has investors that are looking at the region for investment.
“…before, we had to first get ourselves in order to build brand new solutions that are scalable, that can attract investment. So those are the conversations we’ve been having. Yes, it’s still a struggle and also we are talking to different partners like this year, we have ABI on board, which is creating a FinTech fund, where FinTechs will be able to tap into the FinTech fund.”
Ms Sharon Kakai, the Marketing and Communications Lead at The Innovation Village says today, there are different platforms that have been created, but the spin penetration isn’t enough.
She notes that they want to look at how to pick specific sectors like agriculture and education sectors to be able to bring them into the fold and include them.
“We can’t do this alone. Partners are very critical and FITSPA is one of those partners. So you’ll find that even part of the program itself is going to focus on just partners who are innovating to be able to fit into the business.”