Chief Executive Officer of Dedalus Global, Leland Rice, has predicted that Nigeria’s economic future would be built on digital enterprises and not on oil.
The investment advisory firm focuses on emerging technologies in emerging markets.
Rice, the founder of Africa Fintech Summit, said this during the summit held for the first time in Lagos, at the weekend. The summit, which followed its earlier edition in Washington, D.C. in April, featured panel discussions on the emerging technologies, payment innovation and regulation, blockchain, investment, lending, and financial inclusion in Africa.
His words: “The overall level of investor capital, political will and collaboration around technology in general reflect a growing awareness that Nigeria’s future will be built not on oil and industry but on digital enterprise.”
Nigeria, with all its challenges, offers some of the greatest opportunities, he said, adding that young people in the most populous black nation, endowed with entrepreneurism and accustomed to finding ways around barriers, possess a bias towards innovation.
That combination, in concert with demographic-driven demand, according to him, positions Nigeria as an important spot to watch on the global Fintech map. “If you’re into demographics, you know that Nigeria is Africa’s largest market and that a whopping one-third of its 186 million people (15 to 35 years olds) are tech-savvy. And if you’ve ever lived or worked there (especially in Lagos), you know it’s a place that’s powered by pure hustle and entrepreneurial energy.
“Let’s be clear-eyed for a minute though. There’s no doubt that Nigeria’s infrastructure and policy gaps hinder Fintech growth.
But in many ways, they also fuel the innovation fire,” he said. Over 50 speakers and 500 finance professionals, tech enthusiasts, investors, and regulators gathered at the summit organised by Dedalus Global to discuss technologies transforming finance on the continent, debate regulatory policies, compare best practices, and forge new ventures.
The summit also featured a roundtable for the Global Startup Virtual Conference 2019, which will air in February 2019 on globalstartup.tv; an open banking roundtable on the development of API standards; and a regulation roundtable on the industry responses to the draft guidelines for licensing and regulating payment service banks. Outcomes from these roundtables will be published in the coming weeks.
Keynote speakers include the executive secretary, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Yewande Sadiku; Special Advisor on ICT to the President, ‘Lanre Osibona; founder and CEO of Paga, Tayo Oviosu; and Managing Director, Rack Centre, Ayotunde Coker.