Emerging regional digital innovators, FinTechs to showcase products in Uganda

The orgnisers of 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative, HiPipo and Partners Gates Foundation, Modusbox, Crosslake, Mojaloop and MTN Group members pose for a photo

With increasing start-ups in digital innovation and financial technology, stakeholders from, especially East Africa have yet again been offered an opportunity to showcase their products/services and grow their clientele.
The opportunity is being offered by HiPipo which launched the third season of the 40 Days 40 FinTechs with a call to Digital Innovators and Financial Technology companies (FinTechs) across East Africa to take part in this year’s experience.

First launched in 2020, the initiative is a 40-day event that profiles emerging FinTechs with unique stories and provides a setting for the various players and stakeholders involved in digital and financial technology to exhibit their products and services and also share their ideas on how more people, especially those unserved and underserved by the present financial systems, can be brought into the fold.

It also offers FinTechs useful tools and an introduction to industry’s emerging technologies, such as Mojaloop Open Source Software, and guidance from Level One Project foundational material. Organisers say the skills gained from this initiative cover Level One Project Principles, Instant and Inclusive Payment Systems (IIPS), Inclusive Finance and FinTech in general.
According to Mr Innocent Kawooya, the chief executive officer HiPipo which is the organizer, the second 40 Days 40 FinTechs that ran in the months of July and August 2021 set the bar very high and has prompted them to go beyond Ugandan boarders.

“As HiPipo, our extensive effort and advocacy is partly for the intention of championing digital innovation and interoperable instant and inclusive payment systems (IIPS) in Africa to a point where our innovators enjoy and achieve sound profit margins to help them keep designing and deploying affordable and inclusive financial services for the poor. It was thus pleasant for us to learn that up to 25 of our season-two participants, not only continued to enjoy increased client engagement and better bottom lines as a direct result of participating in the 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative but are also helping to generate economy-wide efficiencies by digitally connecting millions of low-income consumers that are learning to transact at a fast rate,” Mr Kawooya noted.
“But this is just the start, and we acknowledge there is a lot more to do. Season three of 40 Days 40 FinTechs is here, starting mid-2022 with optimism that the initiative will impact even more lives and livelihoods going forward,” he added.

The initiative has quickly grown into one of the world’s premier showcase events for the innovations that are enabling ever more people to join the digital economy space. Season three is expected cover physical destinations in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda.

Run under HiPipo’s Include Everyone program – that also encompasses other initiatives such as FinTech Landscape Exhibition, Women in FinTech Hackathon, Summit & Incubator and the Digital and Financial Inclusion Summit and Digital Impact Awards Africa – 40 Days 40 FinTechs delivers over two months of exhibition, dialogue and discussion, one not seen in the sector before. 
It also draws the most attention yet to what is undeniably the future of digital financial services – interoperability.
According the orgianisers, the FinTechs will get cost-free exposure aided by the generosity of the Level One Project; an initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Financial Services for the Poor (FSP) programme, is still of immeasurable value.

“It will be exciting to see what the participants have to offer. And again, various stakeholders will be on hand for more discussion and debate, with this time round extra insight from the likes of banks and MNOs. We anticipate extensive discussion on Instant and Inclusive Payment systems, Central Bank Digital Currencies(CBDC), advancing convenience for users, cross-border payments and on micro-lending products (especially those offering facilities to persons and communities that are still on the bylines of finance and trade for example; women, PWDs and other SIGs),” Kawooya.

The initiative is implemented by HiPipo in partnership with Crosslake Technologies, ModusBox, and Mojaloop Foundation, and generously sponsored by the Gates Foundation. 
“Registration is on first-come, first-serve basis. So, qualifying FinTech stakeholders operating in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and other parts of the continent are encouraged to book their slots before June 11, 2022 by visiting HiPipo website,” Mr Kawooya added.