Shoppers abroad buy items on African local stores and pay easily with Flutterwave: Chief Regulatory Officer
The American Business Council of Nigeria (ABC) in partnership with Lagos Business school, Pan-Atlantic University held its 2nd Economic update themed “Multisectoral Impact of Emerging Technologies and Best Options for their Adoption.”
Panelists at the event were Mr. Olubankole Falade, the Chief Regulatory Affairs, and Government Relations Officer of Flutterwave; Solomon Omorodion, Group Software Channel and Distribution Business Lead West Africa, IBM; Mrs. Rita Amuchienwa, Country Executive for INTEL West Africa; Mrs. Oluwafunto Olasemo, the Vice President of Financial Markets AFEX and the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, represented by Dr. Engr. Falilat Jimoh.
During the panel discussion, the moderator, Prof Olayinka David-West, Associate dean of the Lagos Business School shared concerns around the accessibility of emerging technologies in Nigeria at the grassroots. In response to this, Mr. Olubankole Falade noted that with Flutterwave’s technology, there are zero barriers to sales and business growth for grassroots small businesses in Nigeria.
“We have proprietary API technology that allows individuals to pay businesses through various modes of payments including — cards, mobile money, QR, depending on what markets and payment methods are acceptable in that market. For example, with Flutterwave, my elder brother in the US can pay for shoes from a vendor in Lagos and have them delivered to our mother in Abeokuta, Ogun State,” he added.
Flutterwave’s effort to support small businesses took a leap during the lockdown in 2020, when the company launched the Flutterwave Store as part of its ‘Keeping the Lights on Campaign’ to support small businesses during the pandemic. This campaign helped small businesses in Africa to sell online easily and has helped bring over 30,000 small businesses online to date. In addition, Flutterwave launched Market – an extension of its Flutterwave Store service – that brings together a collection of merchant stores in one place to help scale small businesses growth.
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Responding to the issue, Mrs. Amuchienwa shared Intel’s work with the World Bank, partnering with Zinox to upskill communities and provide tools for digital transformation. “The Intel Skills for Innovation Initiative empowers decision makers and educators in adopting technology to create innovative learning experiences that actively engage students in all learning environments—virtual, at school, or blended,” she said.
Mrs. Olasemo spoke on financial inclusion for rural farmers, stating the need for financial institutions to understand the needs of rural farmers. She focused on AFEX’s effort to have available, accessible data that can be interpreted easily to make important decisions for farmers and investors.
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Dr. Jimoh emphasized the need for the private sector to respond positively to invitations from the government for collaboration. “For emerging technologies to succeed, the right environment needs to be created and both private and public contributions need to be made,” she said.
Mr. Omorodion spoke on how IBM uses emerging technologies to solve problems such as post-harvest food loss in Africa. He stated that the cloud-based solution gives visibility to the food supply chain by capturing data at every stage, such that a buyer knows the production date of the food purchased.
The event concluded with a general consensus that there is a need for trust to be built between the private and public sectors. Such trust would enable collaborative efforts between both parties and consequently foster the use of emerging technologies for the benefit of society.