In many ways, Africa is rapidly proving how financial technology and digital infrastructure can scale and thrive to serve potentially billions of people. Since the launch of M-Pesa in 2007, people and businesses from across the continent have been at the forefront of using technology to move and manage value. Today, they are increasingly turning to digital currency and public blockchains to efficiently connect to global capital flows. And beginning in 2013, the introduction of digital currencies and public blockchains made it possible to more efficiently connect countries across the continent to global capital flows.
At WEF23 in January, I had the pleasure of hosting Elizabeth Rossiello for an insightful discussion on how this transformation is taking shape. Rossiello is CEO and Founder of AZA Finance, which helps businesses and institutions manage treasury, payments and FX into, throughout, and out of Africa. Since founding the business 10 years ago in Kenya, Rossiello has seen first-hand the difference that blockchain infrastructure can make in terms of economic mobility.
Our conversation touched on how digital currencies can help solve inclusion challenges that exist today within traditional finance, and why many of AZA’s institutional clients are adopting dollar digital currencies like Circle’s USDC for wholesale commercial flows that can move across borders outside of traditional banking hours.
Here are some of the highlights.
Overcoming friction in first-gen mobile money
Rossiello covers the rise of early mobile money services in Africa, along with their limitations, and explains how they paved the way for more advanced digital currency uses taking hold across the continent today.
The magnitude of opportunity in Africa
Rossiello talks about how AZA has grown along with its clients in recent years, and how many of these clients have advanced from trade with other African countries to commerce opportunities in other global regions.
How AZA’s institutional clients use USDC
Rossiello explains why many of AZA’s clients request access to USDC, and lists the benefits of doing business with a digital dollar that’s always on and able to seamlessly move across borders.
View the full conversation: