The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) have inked a FinTech Cooperation Agreement to support digital infrastructure development in Kenya. The two central banks will collaborate to develop basic digital infrastructure services for Kenya, including identity, data and Know-Your-Customer utility, based on a set of common standards. The cooperation was sealed at the inaugural Afro-Asia FinTech Festival in Nairobi, Kenya, which drew close to 2,000 participants from all over the world.
The agreement was signed on July 17 by Dr Patrick Njoroge, Governor of CBK, and Ravi Menon, managing director of MAS, on the sidelines of the festival. The signing was witnessed by Uhuru Kenyatta, the President of Kenya, and Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister and Chairman of MAS.
Dubbed the “FinTech in the Savannah”, the inaugural Afro-Asia FinTech Festival saw Kenyan companies and Singaporean companies announce a suite of fintech and technology solutions that were jointly developed with their counterparts. The solutions include a digital micro pension marketplace, a cattle insurance solution, a credit scoring solution, and an agreement to build a payments gateway between the two regions.
The Afro-Asia FinTech Festival brought together thought leaders, investors, entrepreneurs and corporates, from 43 countries. The two-day festival also featured more than 100 speakers and over a hundred exhibitors, including more than 60 from outside Kenya and a Singapore pavilion. Held at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies, the festival saw an exchange of ideas and discussions around the latest fintech developments and opportunities in the Afro-Asian markets.
The FinTech Conference featured insights from global and industry leaders from Africa and Asia. In addition to Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Ravi Menon and Patrick Njoroge, other speakers include Aurelie Adam Soule Zoumarou, Minister of Digital Economy and Communications, Government of Benin; Jonathan Larsen, chief innovation officer of Ping An Group and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Global Voyager Fund; and Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, chief financial services officer of Safaricom. The festival benefited from the participation of many central bank governors from the region.
The Africa track of the Global FinTech Hackcelerator was launched at the festival. The Global FinTech Hackcelerator is a highly competitive programme for innovative start-ups looking to address problem statements collated from the financial industry. Finalists of this regional track will be fast-tracked to the Global FinTech Hackcelerator finals which will take place at the Singapore FinTech Festival and the Singapore Week of Innovation and TeCHnology (SFF x SWITCH) in Singapore on November 11.