Nairobi: 10th Africa Bank 4.0 Summit – PAN Africa, commenced on the 8th of March 2023 at Radisson Blu Hotel, Nairobi Upper Hill, platforming C-Suite industry leaders, and business decision makers from Africa's FinTech, digital banking, and digital payments sectors to pave the way forward in Africa's quest to improve access to finance.

As pre-conference sessions on the 7th of March 2023, this event hosted the Fintech Investor Forum, and an exclusive workshop on “Implementing GRC and AML Software’s in African Banks” from Dixtior. "As a CEO, I strongly believe that adopting a client-centric approach in AML process is not only beneficial for our clients, but also for the overall success and sustainability of our business." mentions Rui Vicente, CEO - Dixtior (Workshop Leader along with Rosana Guerreiro and Hélder Carapinha)

The 2-day conference on the 8th of March, was inaugurated by Ali Hussein Kassim, Chairman, Association of Fintechs in Kenya (Conference Chairman) as he officially welcomed all participants.

The inaugurating session witnessed Dr. Kombe Kaponda – Chairperson Fintech WG, Lead Researcher CBDC at Bank of Zambia, presenting on “Building the Momentum with CBDC – Policy Goals, Design and & Implementation Options”, followed by an exclusive presentation on “Modernize Digital Systems in order to Outgrow Fintech Influence “ by Christine Durant, Regional Sales Director at ICPS, an HPS Company.

“Strategic Adaption of Bank Readiness for the Future” was the focus point of CEO Inspirational Panel, which was moderated by Mrs. Sitah LANG’O, Regional Manager, Kenya at SWIFT and joined by Rose Muturi – Chief Executive Officer at Branch MicroFinance Bank, Zahid Mustafa – Chief Executive Officer at I&M Bank (Tanzania) Ltd, Raphael Lekolool – Managing Director at Postbank Kenya, Fabian Kasi – Managing Director at Centenary Bank, and Khevin Seebah – Chief Executive Officer at ICPS, an HPS Company (Diamond Sponsor).

Thomas Brady – Global Consulting Retail Banking Practice Lead at Wipro (Headline Sponsor) emphasised on the importance of “Meeting the ever-changing needs of a Banking Customer” during his speaker presentation while “The Role of Analytics in Protecting and Securing the Financial Services Industry in Africa” was elaborated by Ravi Acharya – Managing Director and Regional Head of Middle East, Turkiye and Africa at SAS.

The Payments Town Hall, panel discussion witnessed an interactive brainstorming on “The Changing Face of Payments and eCommerce”, moderated by Darren Franks – Co-Founder & Director of Fintech Association of South Africa and joined by
* Kuldip Paliwal – Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer at First Alliance Bank (Z) Limited *Amrit Gayan – Chief Operating Officer at SBM Bank (Kenya) Limited
*Warren Zambelli – Managing Director, Africa at Wipro
*Gunjan Dhingra – Business Head, Africa at PureSoftware (Associate Sponsor)
*Jacob Aruldhas – Chief Executive Officer at ECS Fin(Associate Sponsor)
*Hugues Muziga – Business Development Manager at LexisNexis Risk Solutions (Gold Sponsor)

Financial Inclusion Panel, was the concluding panel for the first day of the event, which focused on ”Closing Financial Inclusion Gaps”. Panelists joining this panel included - Paul Mbugua, Group Managing Director at Eclectics International Ltd, Lucy Kiai – Group Head, Programmatic Lending at Letshego Holdings Limited, Adrian Pillay – Vice President, Sales – MEA at Provenir (Silver Sponsor), Jason Masai – Interim Head of Product – Digital at M-Pesa Africa, and Nikesh Bhaga-Muljee – Head, Risk Decision Science at Standard Bank. Samee Zafar – Director at Edgar, Dunn & Company shared his insights as the moderator of this exclusive panel.

Digital Leaders Panel, was the inaugurating session for the 2nd day of the conference, which witnessed interactive discussion on “Navigating FinTech Disruption.” Moderated by Mrs. Sitah LANG’O, Regional Manager, Kenya at SWIFT this panel was joined by
* Sahil Arya – CIO & Head of Banking Technology and Digital Transformation | Gulf African Bank

* Thomas Brady – Global Consulting Retail Banking Practice Lead | Wipro

* Hélder Carapinha – Managing Director | Dixtior

* Arvind Viswanathan – Business Unit Head | Craft Silicon

* Aleksandrs Trocjuks – Senior Sales Director EMEA Fraud and Identity | LexisNexis Risk Solutions

Hartnell Ndungi, Chief Data Officer from Absa Bank Kenya shared his insights on “How AI has changed Access to Information?” while “Biometric KYC – Keeping Fraudsters out of your System” was elaborated by Rob Woods – Director, Market Planning: Finance SME International Fraud and Identity at LexisNexis Risk Solutions.

“Revenue Generation in Retail Banking 2023 & Beyond” was the focus point for the Retail Bankers Panel which was joined by Kuldip Paliwal – Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer | First Alliance Bank (Z) Limited, Nisham Chhabra – Regional Vice President (Africa) | Netcore, Anton Grutzmacher – Co-founder | Omnisient, John B. Kaweesi – Head of Mortgages & Consumer Banking | Housing Finance Bank and Swapnil Shetty, Principal Consultant – Global Presales & Product Innovation at Azentio Software.

On one the highlights of the day was the “Women Leaders Panel – Enabling Women’s Economic Empowerment in Finance’’ which was moderated by Caroline Karanja – CEO of Association of Microfinance Institutions (AMFI Kenya) and joined by by Mrs. Sitah LANG’O, Lucy Kiai, Dr. Ethel Mupambwa – MD & CEO at Money Mart Finance, Elizabeth W. Karinga – CFO at BIMAS Kenya Ltd., and Caroline Mulwa – Regional Director, Africa at Oikocredit.

The Closing Panel moderated by Benjamin Arunda – Founder of ChainAdvise Blockchain Advisory discussed “Redefining Digital Financial Services and Payments with DeFi” joined by Dr. Kombe Kaponda – Chairperson Fintech WG, Lead Researcher CBDC at Bank of Zambia, Kebaya Mwamba – Founder & CEO at Hela Money, and John Frank Githiaka – CEO at Benkiko (Supporting Sponsor).

The conference concluded with setting the stage for the Africa Bank 4.0 Awards 2023 and the Gala Dinner Reception, hosted by ACL Worldwide (Award Sponsor). Jerry Shikhule, Commercial Lead for Africa at ACI Worldwide inaugurated and welcomed all guests at the Award Ceremony, which was established with a vision to recognize and appreciate the efforts of various organizations, associations, and service providers in the field of banking financial services.

Kuldip Paliwal received the award trophy representing First Alliance Bank (Z) Ltd, that was honored for Most Innovative Bank for Small Businesses Payment Solutions of the Year. Branch International, was awarded the Best Neobank of the Year, while National Bank of Kenya received the award for “Best Fintech Partnership Bank.

Best Bank of the Year (Tanzania) was awarded to NMB Bank Plc, while Absa Bank Zambia, received the recognition for Best Bank of the Year (Zambia). Zimbabwe Women's Microfinance Bank was awarded for “Best Microfinance Bank (Zimbabwe)”

In categories focused on technology and innovation, the below companies were recognized for their effort and dedication in bringing forth new solutions, technologies benefiting the banking and financial sector, thus pushing the success and efficiency of their operations and future strategies.

Khevin Seebah the CEO of ICPS, received the award for ICPS as the “Most Innovative Payments Technology of the Year”, and during his acceptance speech he shared "2022 was an outstanding year for ICPS. We rolled out a number of new services, and we are proud that our customers have access to an even more diversified portfolio of products to choose from. We are also pleased to be fully integrated into the HPS Group. The partnership has allowed ICPS to expand its footprint across Africa, and to drive new synergies and efficiencies across both companies. The feedback from our clients on the latest version of PowerCARD - with its new and enhanced features - has been fantastic.”

Anton Grutzmacher, Co-Founder at Omnisient, received the award for “Most Innovative Financial Inclusion Technology of the Year”. Arttha by PureSoftware was recognized as the “Best Banking-as-a-Service Platform of the Year” while “Best Digital Banking Solution of the Year” was awarded to Craft Silicon.

Best Digital Lending Platform of the Year was awarded to Azentio Software, while Netcore was felicitated for the Best AI & Personalization Marketing Platform for Fintech of the Year”.

Best Digital Shared Financial Inclusion Platform of the Year, was awarded to Eclectics International Ltd. Paul Mbugua, Group Managing Director - Eclectics International Ltd. received the award along with his team. Donovan Byrne, Sales Director - Africa Financial Crime & Compliance received the award representing LexisNexis Risk Solutions, which was awarded as the “Best Solution Provider in Financial Fraud & Compliance.”

Best Solution Provider in Data Analytics and AI
was presented to Pathways Technologies Ltd, while YabX was awarded the “Best BNPL Platform of the Year” which was received by Eunice Ruguru, Director of Business Operation – Yabx, Africa.

The leadership categories at the Awards, recognized
* CEO of the Year (Uganda) - Fabian Kasi, Managing Director - Centenary Bank
* CEO of the Year (Tanzania) - Ruth Zaipuna, CEO - NMB Bank Plc
* CEO of the Year (Kenya) - Raphael Lekolool, CEO - PostBank Kenya
* CEO of the Year (Pan Africa) - Mizinga Melu, CEO & MD - Absa Bank Zambia Plc
* Fintech Entrepreneur of the Year - Kamal Budhabhatti, CEO - Craft Silicon
* CIO of the Year (Pan Africa) - Sahil Arya, CIO -  Gulf African Bank
* Best CISO of the Year (Africa) - Thelma Kganakga, Group CISO - Equity Group Holdings plc
* Most Inspiring Retail Banker of the Year (Pan Africa) - Zahid Mustafa, CEO - I&M Bank (T) Limited