Ramatoulaye Goudiaby, Director of the Africa Financial Industry Summit (AFIS), emphasized the pivotal role of the organization in bolstering the continent’s financial sector.
Speaking at the AFIS 2023 inauguration in Lome, Goudiaby highlighted that AFIS serves as more than just a transient event; it stands as an enduring platform fostering year-round public-private dialogue.
“AFIS isn’t merely a talk-show or a fleeting event. It’s a perpetual platform fostering year-round public-private dialogue,” Ms. Goudiaby affirmed at the opening of the AFIS 2023 held in Lome.
Since its establishment in 2020 by ABY, CEO of Jeune Afrique, AFIS has remained steadfast in addressing four critical challenges integral to the African financial sector. These include nurturing the growth of a top-tier African financial industry, establishing financial services as a cornerstone for the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), enhancing financial inclusion and securing sustainable economic funding, and advocating for the representation of the African financial industry in global regulatory dialogues.
In the current macroeconomic climate besieged by persistent inflation, liquidity constraints, and challenges in financing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Ms. Goudiaby stressed the imperative of seizing the moment, viewing Africa as the new frontier rather than waiting for adversities to subside.
She outlined a vision for Africa’s financial future, emphasizing the necessity of leveraging local resources, enhancing capital markets, embracing technological innovations, augmenting financial penetration, and devising innovative solutions that not only lead to transition but also drive the desired disruption.
Highlighting the resilience and potential of the industry amidst various crises over the past three years, Ms. Goudiaby celebrated the sector’s capability to weather external shocks, innovate in refinancing strategies through securitization and tokenization, expand ambitiously amid the departure of international players, and embark on the awaited regional integration journey.
As a driving force for collective goals, AFIS showcased its tangible influence through several significant initiatives. These include the commissioning of an impact study in 2022 regarding the application of Basel 3 within a banking group, stemming from discussions held in the previous year’s round table.
Additionally, PAPSS, commenced dialogues with central bankers and commercial banks in 2022 to propel the platform’s development, a pivotal step towards regional integration and the success of AfCFTA. Moreover, an imminent signing of a groundbreaking guarantee contract valued at US$ 250 million is slated for this year, further underlining AFIS’s impactful engagements in the financial landscape.
Expressing gratitude to partners, both longstanding and new, Ms. Goudiaby specifically acknowledged the International Finance Corporation (IFC), lauding its relentless contribution to the financial industry’s challenges. She then ceded the floor to Sérgio Pimenta, IFC’s Vice President for the Africa region, to shed light on the corporation’s significant role and insights into the industry’s ongoing evolution.
With unwavering commitment, Ms. Goudiaby urged participants and partners to forge ahead collectively, underscoring the significance of continued collaboration in fortifying and advancing the AFIS platform.