Inside Uganda’s emerging fintech ecosystem
I’m not sure if this story is real or my own imagination, but it would be awesome if it was true.
I am writing from Uganda – the latest fintech hub in the world.
But, it may be little known outside of its main city.
“It is the world’s first city in Africa to have its own blockchain,” said Daniel G. Owusu of the United States International Cooperation Agency (USICA).
“I have known Ugandans for many years through my work to help African leaders build their economies,” he added.
I have been following the emergence of the fintech sector in Uganda since 2013.
The country’s financial infrastructure was deeply fractured before, with financial institutions operating in-house and a proliferation of local and offshore banks throughout the country.
A number of fintech companies are trying to change this by leveraging the vast potential of blockchain’s technology to solve the country’s infrastructure and security challenges.
Blockchain is a technology that has seen incredible growth in recent years.
In 2018 it saw a 25% year-on-year growth in the number of global startups building on its platform, according to Cointelegraph.com.
But in Uganda, there is still much work to be done.
Blockchain is not widely known there.
But despite being a relatively young industry, Uganda has established itself as a centre for blockchain innovation.
It is in this environment that a new fintech hub – the city of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) – is emerging.
To do this, it is drawing on partnerships and leveraging local investors.
KCCA’s vision is to become the first crypto exchange and fintech hub in East Africa.
The company has partnered with a South Korean company, Kwon-yin Kim, to develop a network of local companies and investors.
And it has created a blockchain consulting centre.
“Blockchain is not a new technology,” said Kwon-yin Kim.
“It has been implemented in the financial sector in the US, the UK and Australia. We see it now spreading to other sectors, for example, supply chain management and business finance.”
Image: Kwon-yin Kim