UK offers fintech expertise to Nigeria
As the UK prepares to leave the European Union (EU), the nation’s government is looking to Africa’s fintech sector for more action.
The UK Prime Minister Theresa May has been in Nigeria shaking hands, dancing (badly), and promoting all manner of business activities.
May says: “London is a world leading financial centre and as the UK leaves the EU, it will play an even greater role in financing the fastest-growing economies across Africa and the world.”
She will visit securities exchange company FMDQ in Lagos which is playing a central role in developing, driving and diversifying Nigeria’s financial market.
According to the UK government, UK-Nigeria trade was worth £4.2 billion last year and British companies including British Airways, GSK, Shell, Diageo, Unilever and Standard Chartered have operations in Nigeria, many of which date back to the 1930s.
It wasn’t all fintech of course, but 111 African companies have come to the UK to list on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), to raise money.
To encourage more collaboration on capital markets between London and Lagos, the Prime Minister will also announce the launch of a new initiative to support Nigeria’s capital markets regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The UK government says its nation is a hub for fintech which contributes over £5 billion to the UK economy every year.
The first UK-Africa fintech partnership will see the UK offer its expertise to support African entrepreneurs, improve access to financial services for consumers and encourage new investment.
According to the UK government, Nigerian entrepreneurs will be connected with UK fintech investors and business mentors to get the finance and advice they need to start and grow their companies, while a dedicated fund worth up to £2 million will support Nigerian innovators.
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will also work with regulators in Africa to share the UK’s experience of developing regulation and policies.
As reported yesterday (29 August), European digital money transfer Azimo teamed up with African payments firm Interswitch Group.
The two firms plan to build new mobile based financial services for Interswitch’s customer base of over 25 million people in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
Azimo is in Africa this week as a part of that trade delegation with May. During the state visit, the CEO will be visiting South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya to promote fintech innovation.
By the way, earlier this month, the UK government unveiled its contingency plan for banking, insurance and other financial services in case there’s a no Brexit deal after 29 March 2019.