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    HomeGovernance, Policy & Regulations ForumHere's Where Conversations at the Central African Fintech Regulation Forum Are Headed

    Here’s Where Conversations at the Central African Fintech Regulation Forum Are Headed

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    In the heart of Douala, Cameroon, the distinguished Best Western Hotel played host to the groundbreaking CEMAC Fintech Forum from January 29 to 31, 2024. A convergence of minds from the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) unfolded against the thematic backdrop of “Accelerating Financial Inclusion in the Sub-Region.” This exclusive three-day event brought together luminaries from six nations — Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Chad, and the Central African Republic — with the aim of deciphering the intricacies of Fintech regulation.

    The carefully orchestrated forum, an embodiment of the region’s digital awakening, sought to demystify the evolving Fintech landscape. Attended by approximately a hundred in-person participants and fifty virtual attendees, it served as a pivotal juncture for dissecting the nuances of Fintech businesses and sculpting a path toward authentic financial inclusion.

    Unveiling the Fintech Landscape

    The emergence of Fintechs in the CEMAC region, a testament to the escalating digital economy, laid the foundation for the forum. Startups, armed with technological prowess and financial agility, have become formidable partners to traditional financial institutions and mobile telecommunications operators. Terms like Assurtech, Fintech, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, and Regtech have become integral to the regional financial lexicon, encapsulating the myriad challenges that Fintech companies address.

    Yet, despite their pivotal role, the relative obscurity of Fintechs and the absence of a comprehensive regulatory framework pose challenges to their growth. The CEMAC Fintech Forum, situated at the crossroads of technological innovation and financial evolution, seeks to fill this void by providing a platform for stakeholders to delve into these crucial matters.

    Financial Inclusion at the Forefront

    The forum’s first workshop, titled “Quelles technologies financières pour la zone CEMAC?” (What financial technologies for the CEMAC region?), featured Mr. DZOU MBELLA Thierry Vincent, Deputy Director of Financial Stability, Banking Activities, and Financing of Economies at BEAC. Mr. DZOU MBELLA underscored the instrumental role of Fintechs in enhancing financial inclusion, revealing a diverse landscape with Cameroon leading at 45%, while other nations faced disparities, with the Central African Republic at 3%, Congo at 48%,

    Gabon at 47%, Equatorial Guinea at 10%, and Chad at 5%. The urgency of regulatory measures to safeguard consumers and ensure financial stability in the face of evolving challenges echoed through the discussion.

    Navigating Regulatory Challenges

    In the second workshop, Mr. TCHOUSSI BAH Emery, Head of the Department of Regulation of Standards and Methods at the General Secretariat of the Central African Banking Commission (COBAC), illuminated the difficulties entrenched in the Fintech landscape.

    Addressing critical points such as Fintech regulation in the banking sector, challenges faced by Fintechs, and proposed solutions, Mr. Emery emphasized the pivotal roles of COBAC and BEAC as the region’s primary regulatory guardians. Issues like insufficient digital infrastructure, a lack of comprehension of Fintech intricacies, and hurdles in securing funding were laid bare.

    Structuring the Future of Fintech in CEMAC

    The third workshop explored optimal structuring of the financial technology ecosystem in the CEMAC region. Presentations by Mr. NDONGMO Patrice and Mr. MAGONZA Luc Rémy delved into questions of structuration, echoing the sentiment among participants for the forum to evolve into a recurrent event akin to a trade fair.

    Notably, a dozen innovative Fintechs, including SME Crédit Pro, FIATOPE, DIOOL, DOHONE, KATIKA Web, UFI PAYMENT, INTEGRA TRAINING AND CONSULTING,

    MAPOSSA, MAVIANCE, FLUTTERWAVE, and ADSNET, showcased their groundbreaking solutions.

    With the resounding success of this inaugural event, the anticipation for the next edition of the CEMAC Fintech Forum is palpable. Stakeholders are poised to continue the dialogue, shaping the future of financial technology in the CEMAC region, building on the insights and momentum generated by this transformative initiative.

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