MENA Fintech Association establishes Africa Committee

MENA Fintech Association establishes Africa Committee

The MENA Fintech Association, the premier not-for-profit organization dedicated to serving fintech startups and established players across the Middle East and Africa, has announced the establishment of its Africa Committee. In a significant milestone, Yacine Faqir (pictured) has been appointed as the Chair of this networking group, which aims to empower and support the fintech ecosystem throughout the African continent.

Founded in 2005, the MENA Fintech Association has earned recognition as one of the top 4 fintech groups globally. With a strong presence in the Middle East and Africa, the association has been at the forefront of driving innovation and fostering collaboration in the fintech industry.

The newly formed Africa Committee will play a pivotal role in facilitating meaningful engagements among fintech professionals and stakeholders, enabling them to delve into critical discussions surrounding key topics. These discussions encompass crucial areas such as digital transformation, e-commerce and payments, policy and regulation, cybersecurity, and the future of finance.

The Africa Fintech industry stands out in several remarkable ways. It showcases unparalleled dynamism by spearheading the establishment of a continent-wide free trade area, fostering an entrepreneurial mindset, and adopting an innovative approach to digital finance. Notably, even in the post-COVID climate of 2022, it remained the sole region to witness an increase in investment deals, with over 200 successful fintechs.

Functioning as a vital bridge between Africa and the Middle East, the committee aims to foster collaboration, facilitate the exchange of common use cases, and propel industry advancements at the regional level. By leveraging the expertise and diverse experiences of its members, the committee seeks to amplify the growth and potential of the African fintech ecosystem.

Nameer Khan, Chairman of the MENA Fintech Association, expressed his enthusiasm for the establishment of the Africa Committee, saying, “We have witnessed significant interest from fintechs in Africa to join our esteemed group, and we have formed crucial alliances with key fintech associations across the region. However, many countries remain unrepresented, and there is a growing appetite for them to engage with our members and expand their networks while forging strong partnerships. I am delighted to announce the appointment of Yacine Faqir, a renowned figure in the fintech and payment industry, to drive the activation and growth of our network. Yacine will engage with both local associations and fintechs that wish to join our initiatives.”

Yacine Faqir brings a wealth of expertise and experience to his new role as Chair of the Africa Committee. His profound understanding of the fintech landscape and payment industry will significantly contribute to the committee’s objectives of fostering collaboration, knowledge sharing, and the growth of the fintech ecosystem in Africa.

Yacine Faqir, who joins the MFTA as a volunteer and highly recommended chair, in addition to his role as Vice President of Products & Solutions, MENA West, Mastercard, commented: “Having followed the work of the MENA Fintech Association for many years, I wanted to see greater contributions towards the African continent, where the industry is booming yet remaining closely linked to the Middle East. My role at Mastercard gives me the opportunity to engage and interact with fintechs across 23 countries in the MENA West cluster. At Mastercard, we are helping to fuel the fintech ecosystem through our solutions and access to our network with the aim to build an inclusive economy. This is a fantastic opportunity to bring two continents together and collectively shape the future of the industry.”

Yacine’s immersion in the fintech sector began when he was appointed General Manager of Quantik (Dun & Bradstreet Credit Bureau), where he set up and operated Morocco’s second licensed Credit Bureau. He played an active role in developing the first predictive score for the local ecosystem and equipping banks with state-of-the-art risk analytics products. In 2021, he started his private consulting practice, undertaking missions for the World Bank and various fintechs looking to establish a presence in Morocco or scale across the African continent. With a strong knowledge base in the data/tech industry in emerging geographies, Yacine now leads Product & Solutions for MENA West at Mastercard, ensuring that financial institutions and other players have best-in-class payment solutions at their disposal.

Through the Africa Committee, the MENA Fintech Association is committed to supporting African fintechs and facilitating close collaboration with peers, financial institutions, regulators, and investors. Leveraging its vast network and resources, the association aims to empower fintech entrepreneurship, drive innovation, and foster sustainable growth across the continent.