lse africa summit business forum

London School of Economics Africa Summit 2019

3 April 2019 

Istanbul Africa Trade Company at the LSE Africa Summit

Burak Unal, Director of African Markets, participated in the LSE Africa Summit on 30-31 March 2019 at the London School of Economics and Political Science. The conferences and networking events were at New Academic Building  Sheikh Zayed Theatre.

About the Summit

Since its founding in 2014, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) annual two-day conference has established itself as a leading destination for many professionals, students, and corporates in the continent and diaspora alike. By gathering renowned scholars, leading politicians, forward-thinking corporate and entrepreneurial minds together with our population of highly capable and passionate students at the LSE, the Summit provides a unique platform for the sharing of ideas and development of relationships that can be translated into meaningful action. The LSE Africa Summit prides itself on being rooted in present realities, as it takes into account the dynamism and contextual framework on the continent and thus, promotes solutions with an African perspective.

Promoting Financial Inclusion in Africa

In the last five years, the global banking industry has seen a decrease in its global revenue growth rate. Africa’s banking sector, in contrast, is fast growing and is valued as twice as profitable as the global average. However, over 350 million adults are unbanked in Sub-Saharan Africa. In this region alone, this represents approximately 17% of the global total.

Financial inclusion initiatives such as Mobile Money, Women Banking and Islamic Banking are now thriving in Africa. At the end of 2016 there were 227 million registered mobile money accounts, more than their total number of bank accounts in the continent. Mobile Money, for example, has provided a solution for small and medium entrepreneurs, who are often disadvantaged when it comes to access to financial systems. Similarly, Islamic banking has met the demand of Africa’s 250 million Muslims on the continent. The panel seeks to highlight the importance of financial inclusion and explore the current strategies and opportunities for providing access to finance for marginalised African citizens. In addition, there will be a further exploration of existing financial inclusion initiatives and their role in promoting a financially inclusive Africa.
Featuring an eclectic mix of the continent’s leading thinkers, this panel explores these monumental steps on the journey towards integration by dissecting the prodigious pitfalls, and most importantly, outlining the potential benefits to the continent’s largest hope and demographic; its youth.

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