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Africa Fintech Network Appoints a Chief Executive Officer

In a bid to strengthen corporate governance and delivery of the next phase of its strategic plan, the Board of African Fintech Network (AFN), is pleased to announce the appointment of former Governor of the Central Bank of Sierra Leone, Dr Patrick Saidu Conteh, as its Chief Executive Officer, effective 1st August 2022. Dr Conteh is a financial sector and development finance executive with over twenty-five years of experience spanning the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors.

He is a strong advocate for financial technology (fintech) and other disruptive technologies as platforms for leapfrogging financial inclusion in Africa. During his tenure as Governor, he is credited for pioneering one of Africa’s first regulatory sandboxes as part of an overarching financial inclusion strategy in Sierra Leone.

Dr Conteh was before this appointment, a member of the Advisory Council of the Africa Fintech Network (AFN), and until recently, he was the Regional Lead for Sub Sahara Africa at Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF), Cambridge Judge Business School, Cambridge University, UK. He currently serves as a tutor in the Cambridge Fintech and Regulatory Innovation training program.

The AFN has operated for close to four years as the platform that unites and connect African FinTech leaders, organizations, and other important stakeholders through their country associations to create an ecosystem that stimulates information exchange, ideation, support and promotion of innovative technologies within the financial services sector across Africa and beyond. The network also serves as a platform for advocacy and coordinated regulatory and governmental interactions to minimise cross- border constraints and facilitate ease of fintech exchanges in the continent. Currently, national fintech associations of thirty-three African countries are on AFN membership, and we plan to grow to fifty countries by end of 2023.

The appointment of Dr Conteh as CEO could not have come at a better time as Africa is systematically witnessing the profound benefits and contributions of fintech to the overall development of the continent’s financial services sector. Alongside these positive developments are numerous challenges confronting the fintech ecosystem. The Board is therefore pleased to have Dr Conteh leading the management team to support the board in addressing these challenges to fulfil our vision of catalysing Africa’s digital economic development.

In response to this appointment, Dr Patrick Conteh is quoted as indicating that “I accept this role on the strong conviction that Africa is the fintech market of tomorrow. Factually, that future is already unveiling itself and AFN is the right organization for exerting the level of positive influence needed for the fintech ecosystem to continue to thrive for the benefits of the continent and beyond”

I am indeed pleased to welcome Patrick on board and look forward to AFN benefitting from his excellent combination of academic and professional qualifications, competencies and versatility spanning central bank governance, financial sector regulation and supervision, fintech regulation, fintech ecosystem development, financial markets development, financial and digital literacy, financial inclusion, research, etc all of which makes him a good fit to navigate AFN to the next level of continental and global impacts.

Dr Segun Aina

President and Chairman of the Board Africa Fintech Network (AFN)