UK launches Tech for Growth to bring financial services to Africa

A person handing over a bank card to pay for shopping

The UK government has launched its Tech for Growth programme which aims to use technology to bring more financial services to emerging economies, initially in Africa. The programme is spearheaded by the UK Department for International Trade (DIT) and will boost trading opportunities between the UK and the Global South.

For the first year, the programme will be piloted in Africa where access to financial services is still low. In the future, the UK is looking to expand the programme to South East Asia and Latin America. As a whole, financial tech is a fairly interesting sector with firms such as Starling Bank and Monzo revolutionizing how banking is done.

Commenting on the move, Gerry Grimstone, UK Minister for Investment, said:

“Diversifying and increasing trade and investment in sectors such as tech will be crucial for economic recovery from Coronavirus, and Britain has a vital role to play globally.

“The UK is home to some of the most innovative tech companies in the world while also being one of the deepest and most globally connected financial centres. It is why we are the top choice for tech firms seeking a base to launch internationally into new markets.

“This programme will further deepen our trade relationships with some of the most exciting emerging markets around the world, and lead to solutions that address one of the most prominent global challenges in today’s world, financial inclusion.”

During the first year, the programme with have three goals; firstly, it will establish a UK-Africa Tech for Growth community with events in Africa and the UK to promote partnerships between technology and financial services firms in both areas. Secondly, it will empower trade by highlighting opportunities and lifting barriers that inhibit the FinTech sector. Finally, it will work with African governments and regulators to grow their tech sectors and develop future trading partnerships.

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