AFF Disrupt 2017: The Historic Disruption

Sound the Alarms

Let it be known, that Dec 14, 2017 will forever go down in the history of the tech world as a technologically disruptive day! Powered by Access Bank and other industry heavy weights, such as Google, SAS, Microsoft and more, the #AFFDisrupt2017 conference held at the exquisite Eko Convention Center.
The AFF building called “The Hive” was commissioned on Dec 13, by the Access Bank group CEO, Mr Herbert Wigwe. At the commissioning of the semi- solar powered building, constructed from 17 containers, the CEO said The Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF) represents a great milestone, bringing young brilliant innovative and disruptive people to create new products to service the financial sector.

The Disrupt conference held the next day at the Eko Exhibition Centre, Lagos. Coming into the venue, it was impossible to miss the impressive lineup of exhibition stands from 10 leading Nigerian companies in the technology space. The exhibitor line-up comprised of Accenture, 21st century, PWC, SAS, NIBSS, Flutterwave, Access Bank, Dev Center, Mpaying Network and TaxiTV.
Victor Okigbo, the AFF Program Director, kicked off the event officially with a welcome address. In his remarks, we learnt that the conference would be divided into two major categories: insight and exposition. Insight, because it would help educate the public on the disruption happening in the FinTech space and how with more support from the government and investors, the growth of more FinTech startups will lead to more jobs and eventually economic growth. Exposition, because the conference will help showcase the ideas of the 8 startups who demonstrated their financial solutions in the course of the event.
Mr. Roosevelt Ogbonna (Group Deputy MD of Access Bank), representing the MD/CEO of the bank, spoke on “Digital Leadership: The Future of Financial Services”. There were also keynote addresses from Mr. Olufemi Olubiyi (Lagos State Commissioner of Science and Technology, representing Gov Akinwunmi Ambode), Mr. Usen Udoh (Group Chief Human Resources Officer, Dangote group) who represented Mr. Aliko Dangote, Mrs. Omobola Johnson (Lead General Partner TLcom) and Kyari Bukar (Trans-Sahara Investment Corporation). Quite notable was the exposition by Kyari Bukar during his address that over 60% of Micro Enterprises in Nigeria are run by women.

Two panel discussions held during the conference on “Investing in Tomorrow & Digital Leadership - The Future of Financial Services” and “From growth to sustainability: How FinTechs can survive and thrive”. The conference also featured several fireside chats (anchored by top business moguls like Leo Stan Ekeh (CEO, Zinox Technologies)) and insightful masterclasses on Blockchain, Designing money, and Digital on-boarding.

The 8 startups who demonstrated their solutions were Monapay, My Service City, Herocash, Kliqr, Neuronah, Startcredits, Loan Partner and Paybyana. Of the lot, Monapay, MyServiceCity and HeroCash emerged as the first, second and third respectively. The winner of the demo, Monapay, was awarded with a cash prize of N2 million, with the first and second runner ups also going home with cash prizes. Awards were presented by Ernest Ndukwe (Chairman, Openmedia Group and Head of Centre for Infrastructure Policy Regulation and Advancement, Lagos Business School, Nigeria).

Get more gist on the conference via #AFFDisrupt2017 on twitter.