Meeting of the WAIFC FinTech Initiative in Casablanca
WAIFC has started a Financial Technology Initiative with the following objectives:
- to encourage close cooperation in FinTech between its members in general;
- to stress that financial centers embrace innovation in finance and actively contribute to developments in that space;
- to proactively identify new areas in financial technology, which needs closer coordination within WAIFC, in addition to potentially existing activities of our governments, financial regulators & central banks, financial institutions, start-ups, universities, and other parties.
In 2019, the focus was on discussing Best Practices in
- building up FinTech ecosystems,
- developing talent in FinTech,
- encourage cooperation between FinTechs and (traditional) financial institutions, e.g., banks,
- organizing international matchmaking events; as well as
Innovations in Finance and how financial centers can support their development, e.g.
- Digital Identity,
- Artificial Intelligence,
The topic of a roundtable meeting in Casablanca on April 26 was FinTech ecosystem building.
Present at that roundtable hosted by Casablanca Finance City were representatives from WAIFC (Astana, Brussels, Busan, Casablanca, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Moscow, Paris), as well as African Fintechs, regulatory authorities and PwC Africa for sharing their experience in Fintech ecosystem building.
The roundtable started with a speech by Thomas Hellmann, DP World Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, on "food for thought on FinTech ecosystem building."
Prof Hellmann stressed that financial technology "is not about a few start-ups getting rich; this is an economy changing its structure."
He raised several questions in the areas of talent development, mentoring, access to capital as well as new technologies (e.g., Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain), which were discussed among the participants afterward. "Pulling off an ecosystem has a lot to do in how to build and maintain talent," he told WAIFC members. His main message was patience: "An ecosystem isn't built in 5 years; an ecosystem is built in 30 years."
In parallel to the roundtable, Casablanca Finance City together with pwc published a report on "Digitalizing Africa: The Rise of FinTech Companies."
Please contact Jochen Biedermann, Managing Director of WAIFC, for any questions regarding the Financial Technology Initiative or WAIFC in general.