Elevating African Fintech Innovations: USAID's Commitment to Accelerating Digital Trade

The Africa Fintech Summit is delighted to announce that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is the official sponsor of the 6th AlphaExpo Mini Accelerator & Pitch Competition, a significant part of the 10th Africa Fintech Summit. This event is scheduled to be held at the luxurious Marriott Ciela Resort in Lusaka, Zambia, on November 2-3, 2023. USAID's sponsorship aligns with the 'Tech for Trade Alliance,' an initiative launched by the U.S. Government's Prosper Africa during the 9th Africa Fintech Summit in Washington DC last April. The primary aim of this initiative is to accelerate e-commerce and digital trade in Africa while addressing legal, regulatory, and logistical challenges across the continent.

Fostering Digital Innovation

After an extensive evaluation of applications from across the continent, 12 early-stage startups with pioneering digital innovations have been selected. They will have the opportunity to present their projects in front of an esteemed panel of judges on November 3, 2023, during the Africa Fintech Summit. The innovative startups chosen to showcase their solutions at the summit include Bosso, Get Equity, Koloso, Kutoa, Loop, Mytalu, Power, Save & Remit Services, SaveApp, TradeLenda, YNA Kenya, and Zambezi Capital.

USAID’s sponsorship will encompass cash awards for the top three winners of the Pitch Competition.

A Proven Platform for Success

Since its inception at AFTSLagos in Nigeria in 2018, the AlphaExpo pitch competition program has witnessed the participation of over 50 startups from 13 different countries. Notably, previous participants have collectively secured over $200 million in investments from renowned entities such as Google, Coinbase, Block, Mastercard, IBM, and various other investors.

An Alliance for Digital Transformation

Zekarias Amsalu, Co-Founder of AFTS and Managing Director of Ibex Frontier, expressed gratitude for USAID's sponsorship and its strategic alignment with the 'Tech for Trade Alliance' initiative. Amsalu stated, "We warmly welcome USAID's support for our Alpha Expo Mini Accelerator Pitch Competition in Zambia, a platform that offers Africa's future problem solvers the visibility, opportunities, and access to capital. This initiative has been thriving for six years now. USAID’s investment is in perfect synergy with the 'Tech for Trade Alliance' as these early-stage startups join the ranks of alliance members who are actively addressing Africa's digital, gender, and financial divides while promoting financial inclusion."

In addition to USAID's Pitch competition and Startup Award sponsorship, #AFTSLUSAKA2023 enjoys support from a diverse group of partners. Notably, the event will feature a keynote speech by Honorable Minister Felix C. Mutati from the Ministry of Technology & Science of Zambia. Additionally, sponsors include corporate giants such as Mastercard, Flutterwave, Ecobank, Multigate, Chipper Cash, MDP, Fivewest, PAPSS, Cellulant, Premier Credit, FonBnk, Fincra, Smile ID, Klasha, FSD Africa, Termii, OneLiquidity, Yellow Card, MMLP, Waya, Founders Factory Africa, and more.

This partnership represents a significant step towards fostering innovation and driving the future of African fintech. It reinforces USAID's commitment to accelerating digital trade and sustainable economic growth across the African continent. With a growing network of partners, the 10th Africa Fintech Summit promises to be a pivotal event for those seeking to empower Africa's digital transformation.