Financial Inclusion - Govt, Operators Rethink Digital Transformation in Cameroon

This was during the inaugural National Forum on Financial Inclusion and the Digital Transformation of the Banking Sector and Financial Services, June 18-19, 2019.

Financial Technology (Fin- Tech) experts, banking and finance representatives as well as government officials are concerting on putting in place a realistic national strategy for financial inclusion and digital payment. They are meeting in Yaounde during the inaugural national forum on financial inclusion and the digital transformation of the banking sector and financial services.

The two-day forum which opened on Tuesday June 18, is being held under the theme: "Achieve success in the digital transformation of the banking sector and financial services in Cameroon." The forum is organized by Risks Mitigation LLC; a consultancy firm, under the tutelage of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. Speaking at the Forum Tuesday, the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Minette Libom Li Likeng reiterated government's commitment to foster the digital economy, noting that global digitalization will not wait for latecomers. She called on stakeholders to identify mobile payment solutions which can accelerate financial inclusion and build synergy amongst the different parties. "Financial inclusion favours autonomy for the local population, and reduces joblessness - it therefore contributes to economic development and macroeconomic stability," the Minister underscored. She insisted that fintech companies and experts should develop adapted services which can break barriers and difficulties to financial inclusion.

Marcel Ngosso, CEO of Aewake; a fintech consulting firm, told participants that the drive towards financial inclusion will rest four main pillars - commitment, mobile network, regulation and adoption. He pointed out that Cameroon still has a long way to go, with a mobile money usage rate standing at 24 per cent of a population of about 24 million. According to the consultant, the mobile money flow in Cameroon in 2018 was US$ 4 million (circa FCFA 2.3 billion), while smart phone usage stood at 83 per cent and internet penetration was 36 per cent. Marcel Ngosso suggested that Cameroon could tap from the Kenya experience with M-Pessa