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AFF Journey


The objective of establishing the Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF) is to identify and accelerate innovative startups in Africa and to be recognized globally as the foremost technology hub in Africa.

Value Proposition
Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF) scouts the start-up ecosystem, conducts open application processes, and leverages off partner networks (global accelerators, financial and technology partners, government, and donor agencies, etc.) to help start-ups scale.
AFF is also tasked with the responsibility of introducing and developing innovative solutions to address/solve persistent problems not only in the financial sector but in other economic sectors in Africa such as the educational sector, Real Estate etc.

AFF through its core pillars has pushed the Bank’s services and brand across the continent in the following ways.

  • Acceleration and Incubation: “The tech start-up ecosystem in Africa raised about $5 billion, and fintech’s accounted for 63% of that figure”. AFF over the years has focused on promoting development of the fintech ecosystem, and technical innovation, through its annual accelerator program.

Below are some of our key achievements:

  • In the last 3 years AFF through its annual Accelerator program (a 12-week program focused on developing and promoting the growth of tech startups on the continent) has accelerated about 20 startups in Africa. These startups are made to undergo a series of courses which includes in–house research and development, open innovation, mergers and acquisitions opportunity, corporate venturing, proof–of–concept funds, collaborative research, etc.
  • The 2021 accelerator program garnered well over 700 registrations from different startups which was scaled down to 10 finalists. These 10 finalists consisted of 5 fintech’s, 2 lifestyle, 1 energytech, 1 agrictech and 1 insurtech. AFF raised a funding of up to 100,000 dollars for these startups and increased the exposure of the Bank’s open banking APIs.
  • Credrails, a Kenyan startup that aggregates and standardizes ERP for consumers throughout the continent, will use this solution to improve financial management, planning, and inclusion. Not only has the cooperation with Access Bank enhanced their valuation, but it has also aided in their current seed round.
  • Umscope, a university marketplace for students created by one of our startups, has earned over $20,000 in pre-seed funding. They have made over 3 million naira in ticket sales alone, while also enhancing the lives of students at Lagos State University (LASU) through their platform. They are currently planning to expand to other universities across the country.
  • Afrinovate, now known as Oyster, is revolutionizing the agency banking industry with its cutting-edge technology and services and is actively expanding its operations into Kenya.
  • Josla is an electric startup, helping Nigerians save energy consumption through its smart meter.
    Our work with startups does not begin and end with our Accelerated startup, we intend to grow our portfolio by 2040 to 100 startups and have aided as many as 20 startups achieve its Unicorn status.

API Economy/Digital Integration capabilities: API Economy & Digital Asset Commercialization: Through AFF, the Bank is maximizing business potential for its Retail, Commercial, and Corporate customers while also increasing revenue generation for the Bank through the development and exposure of the Bank’s APIs for use by external firms.

Beyond the Bank’s benefit, AFF is supporting African Tech entrepreneurs with our APIs to drive their innovations and access to markets. Some of the young start-ups we have supported with our APIS is Credrails, a female fonder and Kenya start-up. All our accelerated companies leverage the Bank’s API to power a variety of the services they offer. Our portfolio firms, Sanwopay and Regxta, use the Bank’s API to deliver loans and financial services to bus drivers, shopkeepers, market women, and farmers who feed the country.

Thought leadership: As a Group, we are also focused on using our expertise and ideas to shape and promote the tech ecosystem through our annual events and initiatives such as:

  • The “Ecosystem Roundtable Talk,” – an event which brings together tech experts and enthusiasts from around the world to discuss and educate the public about the tech industry while also providing a networking/positioning opportunity for these participants to deliberate on ways to tackle industry problems.
  • The “Women in Tech” initiative is an ode to the tech industry aimed at increasing gender diversity by encouraging women to participate in the industry’s transformational digital acceleration journey. Since its debut in June 2021, it has attracted over 3,000 women from over 30 countries (15 African countries, 4 European countries, and other countries across the globe). Selected participants will also be awarded a fully funded scholarship to attend the AFF’s Female Digital Academy program, which aims to empower women in the tech industry. In 2021, a total of five ladies (4 Nigerians and 1 diaspora) benefited from a fully funded scholarship for the aforementioned program. Through this event, the participants have learned the workings of the tech industry, its career opportunities, and benefits.
  • The “Female Digital Academy,” a Women in Tech project designed to empower women and offer them with the opportunity to pursue professions in technology by participating in our 12-week academy session. During the academic period, these women are equipped with different IT developing skills such as front-end and backend development, UI/UX design etc. In 2021, the academy has received over 540 registrations and a total of 95 participants from 2 African countries (Nigeria and Ghana). The enrolling price stands at N100,000 per person, but the participants received a 75% discount to participate in the program.
    Following the completion of the academic session, the women are coached and given internship opportunities at various Fintech businesses to help them further develop their newly gained abilities and prepare them for the job market. The FDA program has produced graduates who have gone on to develop credit fraud detection applications, art appraisal, and innovative payment methods.

Innovation and Design: Our annual hackathons is an event in which youths come together to engage in collaborative computer programming by harnessing the creativity and talent of a large community of developers and experts to propose problems to be solved and present the solutions as working prototypes.

Over the years, we’ve partnered with outstanding organizations to develop some of the most cutting-edge solutions to Africa’s problems. The following are a few of these organizations:

  • The Professor Ayodele Awojobi Design Competition (P.A.A.D.C) – an annual competition that aims to find, encourage, and reward undergraduates who propose STEM-based solutions (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to indigenous challenges. It is designed to be a sustainable platform that encourages undergraduates to innovate, promote a profound problem-solving culture among the youth, and emphasizes the need for innovative solutions that will have a direct impact on the Nigerian society.
    In the last five years, the competition has reached and impacted over 80 tertiary institutions across Nigeria, received over 1,100 applications in fields such as agriculture, healthcare, education, and fintech, and encouraged the incubation of four (4) undergraduate start-ups in Nigeria.
  • Stitch: This was a one-of-a kind hackathon that challenged developers, entrepreneurs, and innovators to provide payment solutions to address challenges faced with Forex and international payment remittance. Over 50 developers took part in the 2022 hackathon which held in Lagos and South Africa and provided solutions to cross-border payments and digital personal savings.
  • Summer camp – a summer program for youngsters aged 7 to 18, this program prepares them for a career in technology by teaching them AI technology, 3D learning and mechanics, among other things for the duration of the program. Over 60 students registered and participated in the summer camp in 2021. At the end of the program, the kids were able to create an automatic soap dispenser, a traffic light system, a 3D modelled house etc.
    We will continue to inspire youngsters by forming a kid robotics club to further develop their creative ideas.

Innovation is at the heart of AFF; we take pride in co-creating with startups, improving the lives of young Africans, and propelling Africa to the world