Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director of MAS, spoke on the opportunity to build a more resilient and sustainable world emerging from COVID-19, and provided an update on Singapore’s Green Finance Action Plan to facilitate Asia’s transition to a sustainable future.
Singapore and Kenya Establish Cooperation on Developing Digital Infrastructure at Inaugural Afro-Asia FinTech Festival
Singapore, 17 July 2019… The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) have inked a FinTech Cooperation Agreement to support digital infrastructure development in Kenya. The two central banks will collaborate to develop basic digital infrastructure services for Kenya, including identity, data and Know-Your-Customer utility, based on a set of common standards. The cooperation was sealed at the inaugural Afro-Asia FinTech Festival in Nairobi, Kenya, which drew close to 2,000 participants from all over the world.
2 The agreement was signed by Dr Patrick Njoroge, Governor of CBK, and Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director of MAS, on the sidelines of the Festival. The signing was witnessed by Mr Uhuru Kenyatta, the President of Kenya and Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister and Chairman of MAS.
3 Dr Patrick Njoroge, Governor, CBK, said, “We have gathered in Nairobi to celebrate the newest bridge for financial innovation, bringing together more than three-quarters of the world’s population. The motivation is the conviction that FinTech offers a great opportunity for transforming many lives, in Africa and Asia, and the rest of the world. We can only imagine what the consequence of this Afro-Asia FinTech Festival will be over the next 50 years. Through this Festival, and in the amount of talent that has been brought together, collaboration offers the best chance for creating an effective ecosystem for financial innovation.
4 Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director, MAS, said, “The two central banks started with a simple but ambitious vision: to bring together the innovative energies of Africa and Asia to solve basic gaps in the financial system and improve the lives of our people through technology. Today, we have taken a major step towards our vision. The FinTech cooperation between Kenya and Singapore will serve as a launch pad for FinTech firms and financial institutions in our two countries to collaborate on innovative solutions customised towards enhancing financial inclusion in Africa and Asia.”
5 Dubbed the “FinTech in the Savannah”, the inaugural Afro-Asia FinTech Festival saw Kenyan companies and Singaporean companies announce a suite of FinTech and technology solutions that were jointly developed with their counterparts. The solutions include a digital micro pension marketplace, a cattle insurance solution, a credit scoring solution, and an agreement to build a payments gateway between the two regions. Please refer to Annex for the list of participating Singaporean companies and their announcements in relation to the Festival.
6 The Afro-Asia FinTech Festival brought together thought leaders, investors, entrepreneurs and corporates, from 43 countries. The two-day Festival also featured more than 100 speakers and over a hundred exhibitors
7 The FinTech Conference featured insights from global and industry leaders from Africa and Asia. In addition to Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Mr Ravi Menon and Dr Patrick Njoroge, other speakers include Her Excellency Aurelie Adam Soule Zoumarou, Minister of Digital Economy and Communications, Government of Benin; Mr Jonathan Larsen, Chief Innovation Officer of Ping An Group and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Global Voyager Fund; and Mr Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, Chief Financial Services Officer of Safaricom. The Festival benefited from the participation of many central bank governors from the region
8 The Festival also had many opportunities for learning, innovation and deal-making for the FinTech ecosystem. The Africa track of the Global FinTech Hackcelerator was launched at the Festival. The Global FinTech Hackcelerator is a highly competitive programme for exciting and innovative start-ups looking to address problem statements collated from the financial industry. Finalists of this regional track will be fast-tracked to the Global FinTech Hackcelerator finals which will take place at the Singapore FinTech Festival and the Singapore Week of Innovation and TeCHnology (SFF x SWITCH) in Singapore on 11 November 2019.
The Afro-Asia FinTech Festival is modelled after the Singapore FinTech Festival, the world’s largest FinTech event and global knowledge platform held in Singapore every November. The best ideas from the Savannah will also be showcased at SFF x SWITCH 2019, to show the progress that both continents are making in advancing financial services innovation. The Festival also saw a dynamic cultural exchange between Africa and Asia, as attendees were treated to African and Asian-themed cultural performances and all-day dining featuring Afro-Asian cuisines.
About the Central Bank of Kenya
The Central Bank of Kenya is established under Article 231 (1) of the Constitution of Kenya with the principal purpose of formulating and implementing monetary policy directed to achieving and maintaining stability in the general level of prices; fostering the liquidity, solvency and proper functioning of a stable market-based financial system; supporting the economic policy of the Government, including its objectives for growth and employment. CBK also formulates and implements foreign exchange policy; holds and manages foreign exchange reserves; licenses and supervises authorised dealers and, formulates and implements policies as best promote the establishment, regulation and supervision of efficient and effective payment, clearing and settlement systems; acts as banker and adviser to, and as fiscal agent of the Government.
About the Monetary Authority of Singapore
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is Singapore’s central bank and integrated financial regulator. As central bank, MAS promotes sustained, non-inflationary economic growth through the conduct of monetary policy and close macroeconomic surveillance and analysis. It manages Singapore’s exchange rate, official foreign reserves, and liquidity in the banking sector. As an integrated financial supervisor, MAS fosters a sound financial services sector through its prudential oversight of all financial institutions in Singapore – banks, insurers, capital market intermediaries, financial advisors, and stock exchanges. It is also responsible for well-functioning financial markets, sound conduct, and investor education. MAS also works with the financial industry to promote Singapore as a dynamic international financial centre. It facilitates the development of infrastructure, adoption of technology, and upgrading of skills in the financial industry.
About Singapore FinTech Festival
Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF) is the world’s largest FinTech event and a global platform for the FinTech community, drawing close to 45,000 participants comprising FinTech players, technopreneurs, policy makers, financial industry leaders, investors including private equity players and venture capitalists, and academics. The 2018 Festival saw participants from over 127 countries, hosted more than 250 global luminaries and 480 exhibitors, and featured highlights such as the FinTech Conference with a new AI in Finance Summit and Global Investors’ Summit, the FinTech Awards, Global FinTech Hackcelerator, Innovation Lab Crawl and Industry Networking and Workshops. The Festival is organised by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in partnership with The Association of Banks in Singapore and in collaboration with SingEx Holdings. Find out more at .