Future of Finance, West Africa

Thursday, 25th April 2019


Registration & morning networking


Welcome Address:

Emmanuel Daniel, Chairman, The Asian Banker

Opening Keynote

International Keynote - "The current challenges of the global financial regulation and future perspectives", with Congressman Barney Frank, Former Chairman, House Financial Services Committee, United States Congress

Leadership Dialogue: Building a new regulatory landscape favourable for the digital transformation 

Strict financial regulations in francophone West Africa make it harder to launch digital financial services products, thus limiting the rapid innovation. The mobile money activities of mobile network operators (MNO) are restricted in Nigeria, which has resulted in a highly fragmented market, with 18 companies holding mobile money licenses. Savings groups, informal in nature, also lack recognition by West African country governments. Reducing regulatory and market constraints will require policymakers and financial service providers to rethink and embrace new sustainable and innovative practices that, at the same time, support financial inclusion.

  • The role of the regulators in the era of digital financial services? Expectations vs. reality
  • How can the authorities establish consistent and national regulations that don’t restrain the innovation process?
  • Are spectrum licences necessary today? To what extend?
  • Expanding financial education as a must to overcome the first barriers to the financial services
  • How are governments leveraging private sector finance to extend financial services to the unbanked?

Panellists include:

  • Barney Frank, Former Chairman, House Financial Services Committee, United States Congress
  • Adama Diakite, Economist and Banking Supervisor, Central Bank of Republic of Guinea
  • Kabir Kabo Usman, Director General, International Centre for Islamic Culture and Education (ICICE)

Session co-chaired by Emmanuel Daniel, Chairman, The Asian Banker and Gordian Gaeta, International Resource Director, The Asian Banker


Tea/ Coffee Break


Beyond seamless: A world of cashless & contactless payments
Many countries around the world have undertaken cashless policies and encouraged the adoption of contactless cards and e-wallets. For banks, this means adapting and integrating new technologies that expand the services they provide. With the payment sector being heavily disrupted, how can your organisation ensure that it provides award-winning service and excel above the rest? We invite a panel of industry experts to share best practices and their vision on the future of payments.

  • Friends or enemies? Should banks collaborate with new players? How?
  • Supply-chain finance and cross-border payments – Is blockchain technology the solution?
  • Can the fintech sector create agile, relevant and long-lasting payment solutions?
  • Emerging payment options: The internet of payments and the Internet of Things (IoT)
  • How can West Africans benefit from becoming cashless?
  • Is the Payment Service Banks (PSBs) really creating an impact to address financial inclusion in Nigeria? - Analyzing PSBs’ limitations
  • The introduction of fines to the electronic payment system: Pros and cons
  • Case study: the adoption of mobile wallets and e-payments
Speakers and panellists include:
  • Barney Frank, Former Chairman, House Financial Services Committee, United States Congress
  • Folasade Femi-Lawal, Head of Card Business, First Bank Nigeria
  • Dotun Ifebogun, Head of Retail & SME, Wema Bank
  • Olugbile Erinwusi, Chief Risk Officer, Providus Bank

Chaired by David Gyori, International Resource Director, The Asian Banker




Key findings from The Asian Banker Retail & Technology Awards Program
Our research team will present key trends and findings across the 2019 awards programmes for West Africa and highlight outstanding achievements and case studies.

  • Awards programme: Process, methodology and scorecards
  • Overview of the retail banking market in West Africa
  • Key findings and best practices

Presentation by David Gyori, International Resource Director, The Asian Banker


Digital experience adapting to the constant shifting customer expectations

In order to remain relevant, financial service providers need to embrace digital transformation. Artificial intelligence pilots and centralised data management solutions are being implemented to enable an improved personalized digital experience. We start to see further investments directed towards omnichannel implementations, through digitalisation to create “human touch” with the purpose to strengthen customer loyalty.

  • The hype around personalisation
  • Improving customer satisfaction and saving costs –is it possible at the same time? – Case study: the chatbots
  • How is the local society responding to digital transformation?
  • The introduction of fingerprint scanning and facial recognition. Are passwords becoming a thing of the past?
  • Quality, security and integrity: Customer experience strategies in a digital age
  • Data driven service models optimized to suit specific business needs

Speakers and panellists include:

  • John Iwuajoku, Chief Operating Officer, Royal Exchange PLC
  • Ebehijie Momoh, Country Head of Retail, Standard Chartered Bank
  • Lola Ekugo, Head of Digital Innovation Labs, First Bank Nigeria
  • Ayodeji Adigun, Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer, Nova Merchant Bank

Chaired by Urs Bolt, International Resource Director, The Asian Banker


Tea / Coffee Break


Mobile money services for a better financial inclusion in West Africa
Financial inclusion is one of Africa’s great success stories of this decade. Mobile money solutions and agent banking offer affordable, instant, and reliable transactions, savings, credit, and even insurance opportunities in rural villages and urban neighbourhoods where no bank had ever established a branch. However, West African countries are still far behind its African counterparts in mobile financial services. The rise of non-bank providers of mobile money services and the introduction of regulatory frameworks that allow both banks and non-banks to provide mobile money services will determine the future of financial inclusion in these regions.

  • Lessons learned from other African countries
  • Analysing the Partnership for Financial Inclusion program
  • Women’s financial inclusion in West Africa: From policy to practice

Speakers and panellists include:

  • Chidinma Lawanson, Consultant, International Finance Corporation
  • Victor Olojo, National President, Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria
  • Gbenga Shobo, Deputy Managing Director, First Bank Nigeria
  • Emmanuel Aihevba, Head of Customer Digital Channels, Stanbic IBTC 

Chaired by David Gyori, International Resource Director, The Asian Banker


The rise of fintech startups in West Africa
There has been approximately 100 million US injected into Africa’s fintech and mobile payments sector in 2018, with a significant amount of additional capital to be deployed this year. Beyond payments, the potential for fintech in West Africa is enormous; the combination of a huge unbanked population, scarce information on credit history, and separated economies, suppose challenging, but profitable, problems for fintech to solve. On the other hand, some opportunities include financial inclusion, access to credit and “One African Currency”. African governments have welcomed technology into the continent, hoping to inspire a revolution across all industries and sectors.

  • Key factors affecting the fintech sector: regulation, access to reliable and affordable internet, and the development of blockchain
  • How should West Africa’s financial institutions embrace fintech?
  • Alipay’s expansion to Africa – Should banking institutions and fintech startups see it as a threat?
Speakers and panellists include:
  • Segun Aina, President, FinTech Association of Nigeria
  • Konstantinos Tsanis, Chief Transformation Officer, Wema Bank
  • Elliott Kayode Sangoleye, Head of Digital Channels, Providus Bank

Chaired by Emmanuel Daniel, Chairman, The Asian Banker


End of conference

*Please note that this is a working agenda and topics and speakers are subject to change.

For more details please contact:
Sue Kim
Programme Manager
Tel: (+65) 6236 6527