Djibouti FinTech Forum

Last week saw the occurrence of the 1st Djibouti FinTech Forum, part of the wider Africa FinTech Forum launched in 2017. The event took place from 14-16 December at the Djibouti Palace Kempinski bringing together a panel of experts in the field. The forum was organised by The Ministry of Communication (in charge of post and Telecommunications) with the presence of Mr Radwan Bahdon and Mrs Hibo Mahamoud (Director of D-Money).

A key theme or objective of the forum was promoting the digital economy and innovative financial technologies. This is no doubt in line with Djibouti Telecom’s strategy and we were proud sponsors of the forum.

FinTech is not new to the region. The most widely used and popular product is that of Mobile Money – two-thirds of total global mobile money transactions is driven by users in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Djibouti Telecom has long had discussions with local banks, FinTech startups etc on introducing new FinTech services and this event was a perfect opportunity to bring everyone together and showcase existing/upcoming digital services.

The 2 day event saw a number of keynote talks by a number of field experts as well as our Director General, Mr Assoweh Bouh and Director of Fixed Networks, Mr Aboubaker Houmed. There were lots of questions as well as a great buzz about the future of FinTech in Djibouti. On the 2nd day, Djibouti Telecom signed a new partnership with EAB Group (under which East Africa Bank sits). You can read our previous post about the launch of D-Money in Djibouti.

Key Takeaways:

  • It is vitally important to build trust with users at the outset
  • One of the talking points at this forum was about financial inclusion – mobile has been a key driver of providing an entry point for low income people to access financial services.
  • Djibouti Telecom took on board all the key considerations and practicalities of offering digital money services. It’s essential to adapt a service that meets user’s expectations with a reliable network and wide geographical coverage.
  • We were therefore welcoming close collaboration with the various players wishing to offer a financial service based on technology.
  • In addition, the importance of Digital Money was further highlighted with the current Coronavirus pandemic.

All in all, considering it was the first time Djibouti hosted such a forum it was a great success and 2021 promises to be a landmark year for FinTech in Djibouti.

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