The African financial world has experienced significant growth, but not without facing significant challenges. Bringing together more than 800 leaders, the Africa Financial Industry Summit (AFIS), organized by the pan-African magazine Jeune Afrique, has become a must-see event for African finance.
The continent's financial institutions are emerging on the global stage despite mounting obstacles. As international competitors retreat, an opportunity opens up to expand the influence of the African financial sector. However, managing a growing public debt, the need to adapt to climate challenges and find new sources of financing are important imperatives.
Serge Ékué, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the West African Development Bank, highlights the crucial importance of effective regulation for rapid and sustainable growth of the sector.
Among the summit discussions, the issue of international loans stands out: borrowing on global markets costs up to 2.1 % more in sub-Saharan Africa, a burden for local governments. Uzziel Ndagijimana, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, highlights the need for better consideration of structural factors by rating agencies to improve the situation.
Another notable topic of this event is asset tokenization, an innovation that consists of converting goods into digital tokens for exchanges on the Internet. This approach could unlock a huge amount of liquidity by making very high value assets accessible.
Cyber attacks represent a major challenge for African banks, with an average of 2,164 attacks per week. Alain Kaninda is the Director General of the Regulatory Authority.
«Insurance operators, including regulators or reinsurers, must reflect on the appropriate products to introduce in this sector, but also how they must be reactive, how also in this industry, information must be shared to ensure that we offer an offer of quality to be able to address these problems of cyberattacks and cybersecurity.
In three years, AFIS has established itself as an essential event, bringing together African finance leaders to discuss the challenges and opportunities of a booming sector.