Strengthening cybersecurity to boost financial inclusion in Africa

53rd Midi de la microfinance en ligne

Strengthening cybersecurity to boost financial inclusion in Africa

Strengthening cybersecurity to boost financial inclusion in Africa



  • DATE

    13 Jul, 2021

  • TIME

    12:00 PM - 01:00 PM

For more than a decade now, there has been a wide-ranging debate on whether the digitisation process, particularly in Africa, is proving to be a valuable lever for increasing financial inclusion. The African continent has been particularly dynamic and rapid in the adoption of digital solutions for people that before had no access to formal financial instruments. The reasons for this are varied and certainly, the arrival of relatively low-cost digital solutions capable of filling a vacuum and serving a population that is on average very young (77% of the population is under 35 years old), are all elements that have favoured this process.
But if it is true, as the Mastercard Foundation and IFC wrote a few years ago*, that “Financial inclusion is one of Africa’s great success stories over the past decade” thanks to the digitisation process, the future of this success story will also depend on the attention and resources that will be devoted to the issue of cybersecurity.

How can cybersecurity be strengthened to limit increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks and guarantee data security? What human and technological resources should be implemented?

This Midi will allow us to understand why cybersecurity is a key issue also for the inclusive finance sector and its future development.
Our speakers, Sheila Okiro (African Development Bank) and Jean-Louis Perrier (Suricate Solutions) have an extensive experience on the topic and represent two organisations that have recently launched the African Cybersecurity Resource Center (ACRC) for Financial Inclusion, a continent-wide initiative that aims to strengthen the cyber resilience of the financial system in Africa, secure the fast development of Digital Financial Systems, and ultimately increase Financial Inclusion on the continent, a key for economic and human development.

Ivo Jeník, Senior Financial Sector Specialist at CGAP will conclude the Midi by highlighting the main points that emerged from the discussion.

Discussion will be moderated by Matthew Genazzini, Coordinator of the Smallholder Safety Net Up-scaling Programme (SSNUP) at ADA. Language will be English, with interpretation into French.


Moderator: Matthew Genazzini, Coordinator of the SSNUP Programme, ADA (Luxembourg)

12.00: Introduction

12.05: Discussion between the speakers

  • Sheila Okiro, Chief Investment Officer in the Financial Intermediation and Inclusion Division and ADFI Coordinator (Africa Digital Financial inclusion) – African Development Bank (Côte d’Ivoire)
  • Jean-Louis Perrier, Africa Cybersecurity Resource Center* (ACRC) Programme Director and Co-founder of Suricate Solutions (Luxembourg)

12.40: Questions and answers with online participants​

12.55: Closing remarks Ivo Jeník, Senior Financial Sector Specialist, CGAP (USA)

*The Africa Cybersecurity Resource Center (ACRC) has been launched in March 2021 by Cyber4Dev, a non-profit consortium of public and private partners from Luxembourg and Africa. This consortium gathers experts from SECURITYMADEIN.LU, the Cybersecurity Agency for the Luxembourg Economy and Municipalities, the SnT, nterdisciplinary Research Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust of the University of Luxembourg, Excellium Services SA, cybersecurity leader in Luxembourg and part of one of the largest European European players Maxive and Suricate Solutions in Senegal with several years of experience in cybersecurity for financial inclusion, following a first project started thanks to the Business Partnership Facility from the Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs of the Luxembourg Government.