African fintech hubs join global initiative

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South Africa-based AlphaCode and Kenya’s Nest have joined fintech associations and network providers from more than 20 countries in the Global Fintech Hubs Federation (GFHF), aimed at fostering innovation across the global financial services industry.

The GFHF is an initiative of SWIFT’s innovation arm Innotribe and Innovate Finance, the independent membership organisation for global fintech, and has participants from counties across the world.

AlphaCode and Nest are the two initial African members of the network, which aims to create a truly cross border and open platform that brings together established and emerging fintech hubs.

The GFHF will provide a global voice and global stage for fintech hubs, with participants gaining an influential point of engagement with international stakeholders and like-minded organisations from across the world.

“The fact that the GFHF initiative includes two major African fintech hubs illustrates the increasing significance of African startups on the global fintech scene,” said Hugo Smit, head of Sub-Saharan Africa at SWIFT.

“The initiative will encourage growth and development in the sector. It builds upon the Startup Challenge for Africa launched in 2014 at the SWIFT African Regional Conference which showcases fintech startups from across the region.”

AlphaCode said its vision is to pioneer the next frontier of financial services by identifying, partnering and growing extraordinary entrepreneurs.

“While fintech is still in its infancy in South Africa, we have witnessed incredible growth in the number of innovative businesses solving consumer pain points. This is an indication of the opportunity and potential that exists in the industry,” said Dominique Collett, head of AlphaCode.

“AlphaCode aims to be the epicentre of the fintech ecosystem in Africa and through this initiative our entrepreneurs will create global networks and partnerships that foster collaboration and innovation. We hope that through the collaborative network we can learn from the development taking place in emerging markets and bring that learning and talent back to South Africa to fast-track solutions.”

The GFHF is open to any participants that nurture the development of fintech ecosystem in their region and abroad. The federation will also publish its inaugural report in the coming days, establishing the 2016 baseline for over 20 emerging and established fintech hubs.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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