During her opening address, Ms. Josephine Olok, the Chairperson of FITSPA, expressed her deepest gratitude to all FITSPA members, the Board of directors, the Secretariat, industry regulators, partners, and stakeholders for their continuous support and contribution to FITSPA and the Fintech ecosystem. She recounted FITSPA's priorities for 2023 as facilitating networking opportunities, engaging with regulators, establishing a foundation to attract investments, and empowering women and youth in Fintech. Ms. Olok also highlighted FITSPA's achievements in 2023, including a robust governance structure, increased recognition in digital finance dialogues, membership growth, financial growth, and increased investor engagement. Furthermore, Ms. Olok thanked the outgoing founding FITSPA Chairperson and board member, Mr. Peter Kawumi, the Regional Managing Director of East Africa at Interswitch Group, for his exceptional service to FITSPA since 2019. For 2024, Ms. Olok spotlighted FITSPA's priorities, driven by a revitalized strategic plan (2024-2029) with establishing the FITSPA Fintech Fund to address member funding needs at the heart of it all.
FITSPA members shared their thoughts and recommendations on various aspects of the association. Chiefly, members emphasized the need to strengthen the association's financial position for long-term sustainability. Several suggestions were put forward to achieve this, including establishing an investment policy, creating a subsidiary business to offer paid services to members, and partnering with members to provide commission-based services such as cybersecurity. Another important issue highlighted was the need to certify talent and employees in the Fintech ecosystem to prevent fraudulent activities. Members also recommended engaging more with regulators to educate them about the unique context in which Fintechs operate. Other proposals included leveraging partnerships with universities, introducing certification of compliant members, and implementing policies that allow FITSPA to support members by lobbying for better quality of service and support from domestic players like MNOs.
Mr. Varghese Thambi Appointed to the FITSPA Board of Directors
Mr. Varghese Thambi, the Managing Director and CEO of Diamond Trust Bank Uganda, was appointed at the 7th FITSPA Annual General Meeting to take the reins from the outgoing Mr. Peter Kawumi. In his acceptance speech, Mr. Thambi expressed his gratitude to FITSPA members who nominated him to the Board and entrusted him with the responsibility of contributing to the charge towards a thriving Fintech ecosystem in Uganda. He pledged his commitment to supporting the Board, the FITSPA Secretariat, and members in tackling key industry challenges such as cybersecurity and driving growth in Fintech.
The FITSPA End-of-Year Networking Cocktail
After the AGM, members were treated to a networking cocktail sponsored by Onafriq (previously MFS Africa). The event gave a platform for members to catch up, share ideas, and celebrate 2023's accomplishments while also gearing up for 2024. It was also an opportunity for Onafriq to cement its new brand name as it consolidated its mission of creating an interconnected borderless Africa through its payment platform and network.