Four Central Banks in Africa are looking at ways to share data to enable greater access to finance and promote COVID-19 recovery through collaboration with the RecovTech (Recovery Technology) TechSprint, commencing this week. Participants will work together to co-design a data-sharing platform to address the international “data silos” and identify key “data deserts” where data is not available on key demographics of the population.
Fintech Sandpit is supporting this collaboration with its platform and expertise in data sharing between organisations. The Company’s contribution is part of the wider RecovTech program, funded by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) & the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FDCO) and implemented by BFA Global.
RecovTech involves a two-week “TechSprint” and brings regulators and fintech innovators together to discuss and develop prototype solutions for ways of enabling financial innovation by removing regulatory barriers for fintech companies and institutions across Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt. The event will see participants from Central Banks, Microsoft, Cambridge University as well as representatives from regulators, policymakers, other banks, Fintechs and Data Service providers. The audience is intentionally wide to encourage cognitive diversity.
The first week of the event will focus on frameworks to support data sharing between nations, while the second will investigate Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PET), such as synthetic data generation. Synthetic Data Generation is a key enabler for data sharing as it allows the statistical properties of sensitive data to be maintained without exposing private information.
The TechSprint comes soon after the release of Consumer Data Protection laws in Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya in the last two years, paving the way for closer collaboration between regulators and technology service providers throughout the development process. The solutions created in the TechSprints will continue to be developed until a Symposium later in the year. Here, the Proof-of-Concept solutions will be demonstrated and the winning solutions will be awarded.
The sprint will take place using Fintech Sandpit’s innovation platform, which enables the participants to collaborate and share data together between nations securely. This is a first for the continent to build out and manage their digital ecosystem using real-time messaging, an API Marketplace, and a Data Sandbox.
Matt Allan, the Founder of Fintech Sandpit, said this type of collaboration is necessary and fundamental to support fast and robust recovery for low to middle-income countries. “Solutions from one nation inspire solutions in another, and data is the fundamental link to facilitate solutions that address the acute problems. Bringing regulators into the creative process ensures firstly, that the solutions will meet the upcoming policy frameworks, and second that regulators are more informed of the technologies where their policies will be applied to.”
BFA Global also manages the global inclusive tech accelerator Catalyst Fund, supported by JP Morgan Chase & Co. and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). More than $22million has been invested in Catalyst Fund thus far, and its portfolio of 45 companies have gone on to raise over $126million in follow-on funding. Its flagship inclusive fintech program is focused on innovators in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Mexico and India who are building inclusive fintech solutions.