SWIFT’s African Regional Conference highlighted progress made on regional African projects and advanced African startup fintech talent
The 22nd SWIFT African Regional Conference themed Africa – Seizing the Opportunity, took place in Cape Town from 5 – 7 May and was the biggest ever, bringing together more than 470 delegates from almost 45 countries.
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) hosts the conference in different African countries each year and brings to together key stakeholders to discuss developments in the securities markets on the continent, intra-regional payments as well as how technological innovations could be used to support the financial services sector and the growth of the continent.
This year, the keynote address was delivered by Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago who commented that significant progress in integrating the African continent’s cross-border payment systems was being made.
There were a number of panel sessions that took place during the three-day conference with many influential members from the financial services sector taking part in the discussions. These included Donna Oosthuyse, Director of Capital Markets at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Nerina Visser, Exchange Traded Funds Strategist and Advisor at ETF South Africa, John Staley, CFO and Executive Director at Kenya Equity Bank and Victor Kgomoeswana, African Business Specialist, radio host and author of Africa is open for Business.
For the first time this year, the African Showcase for the SWIFT Innotribe Startup Challenge was launched at the conference. The Startup Challenge introduces the world’s brightest startups to highly qualified financial service experts, angel investors, venture capitalists, and global leading fintech and financial decision makers.
Ten African startups and four early growth companies from South Africa, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Nigeria were selected as semi-finalists and pitched their ideas at the conference. Five winners were selected and will go on to compete against other fintech startups from around the world at the annual SWIFT event, SIBOS, which takes place in Singapore in September this year.
The African Regional conference is one of many events that SWIFT hosts around the world and provides an important community experience for business and financial services experts.
Atmosphere Communications assisted with managing the media relations for the event and facilitating interviews with spokespeople. The agency was able to leverage the opportunity for content and issued a number of stories highlighting the SWIFT business offering. In addition, Atmosphere hosted two journalists, one from South Africa and the other from Uganda, during the conference. As a result, the agency achieved an average of 10 stories per day, during the three-day conference, and another 10 in-depth stories in the subsequent weeks.
For more detail about the conference, to view the wrap up report and videos, please visit the SWIFT website.