Banks, fintechs help unearth  Africa’s economic potential — Fidelity Bank CEO
Banks, fintechs help unearth Africa’s economic potential — Fidelity Bank CEO

Banks, fintechs help unearth Africa’s economic potential — Fidelity Bank CEO

The Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Ghana, Julian Opuni, has acknowledged the instrumental role banks, fintechs and other allied businesses in the banking and finance value chain play in unearthing the enormous potential of Africa’s economy.


He also recognised the contributions of financial institutions in driving business growth across the continent.

Mr Opuni was addressing participants in the 2023 Retail Banking Council Africa meeting held in Accra.

Fidelity Bank partnered the Lafferty Group to host the meeting on the theme, ‘Driving Free Trade in Africa – How financial services can contribute to Digital Trade’.

 “The rapid proliferation and increasing sophistication of digital tech in finance and beyond, coupled with significant shifts in regional and global economic policy such as the landmark African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), suggest that we may be approaching a watershed moment in Africa.”

“This may well be Africa’s moment to emerge as a potent economic power on the world stage,” Mr Opuni noted.


Divisional Director of Retail Banking at Fidelity Bank Ghana, Nana Esi Idun-Arkhurst, said: “It is from proactive engagements, conversations and bonding activities such as these council meetings that powerful relationships and ideas are activated to seize the business opportunities of today and tomorrow.”

IT also helps to create meaningful opportunities for individuals and small businesses, and ultimately transforms the world for the better.”

She said in an era where digital technology provided a real means to circumnavigate long-standing geographical and market barriers, the world was presented with a unique opportunity to collaborate and innovate to extend financial services and solutions across Africa and create life-changing opportunities particularly for women, youth and other marginalised groups.

The Director at Lafferty Group, Dr Ronan Lynch, said the council Africa was an incredibly dynamic one and a platform for the propagation of pragmatic banking solutions for real people.

He said: “Banks are working with fintechs and mobile money companies in Africa in a way that doesn’t happen elsewhere.

Mobile wallet use is tremendous.

But the real goals are to help more small and medium businesses to do business between African countries along with the broader international markets.

In this respect, the council’s work is very practical: when banks can move money freely without those payments going through New York, London or Paris, that’s going to keep a lot more value locally and help local banks and payments businesses to develop.”  

This year, Retail Banking Council Africa celebrates its ninth year of supporting the development of retail banking across Africa.

Established in 2015 by Lafferty Group in association with a core group of African retail banks, the council has since held meetings in Cape Town (South Africa), Nairobi (Kenya), Stellenbosch (South Africa), Lagos (Nigeria) and Port Louis (Mauritius).

For this year’s council, the Lafferty Group partnered Fidelity Bank, a continentally acclaimed innovation leader and pace-setter in the Financial Inclusion sphere which currently enjoys the distinction as the Best Bank in West Africa from the prestigious African Banker awards.

 With their mutual commitment towards driving change in Africa and impacting real lives through practical initiatives and digital innovation, the partners together with other council members look forward to spearheading other joint initiatives to advance intra and inter-continental trade by harnessing strategic partnerships vis-à-vis the power of digital technology.

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