Financial digitization: a sustainable development tool for Africa ?

June 05, 2023, Paris, Banque de France - et en ligne

The Ferdi, the Banque de France and the AFD discuss the challenges of financial digitization for sustainable development in Africa.

The objective of the conference is to question the impact of financial digitization on the sustainable development of the African continent. The discussions aim to analyse analyze how digitization contributes to the development of financial systems, understand how financial digitization can foster sustainable development and highlight the associated risks and the necessary regulations of financial digitization. 

The program includes three sessions and a roundtable discussion.

Monday 5 June 2023
1 day event
Paris, Banque de France and online



08:30 – 09:15 am

Coffee on arrival

09h15 – 09h30

François Villeroy de Galhau, Governor, Banque de France

Introductive talk
09:30 – 10:00 am

Morten Bech, Director of Swiss Innovation Hub, Bank for International Settlements 

Session 1 : Digitization as a tool for financial development and inclusion
10:00 – 11:30 am
  • What are the different forms of financial digitization ?
  • Through which channels does it facilitate the development of financial systems ?
  • What are the main vectors of financial digitization (actors, infrastructures) ?
  • How can financial inclusion be promoted through digital tools ?
  • How can public policy support financial digitization?

 Moderator :  

Thomas Mélonio, Executive Director of Innovation, Strategy, and Research at Agence Française de Développement

 Introducing presentation : 

Leora Klapper,  Lead Economist in the Development Research Group, World Bank

Discussion : 

Madga Bianco, Head of the new Directorate General for Consumer Protection and Financial Education, Bank of Italy

Philippe Garsuault,  Strategic advisor, Skaleet

Gisèle Catherine Keny Ndoye,  Director for Financial Inclusion, Banque Centrale des Etats d’Afrique de l’Ouest

Virginie Gallerand, Chief of Official Development Aid Office, Direction Générale du Trésor

11:30 – 11:45 am

Coffee break 

Session 2 : The impact of financial digitization on sustainable development
11:45 am – 1:15 pm
  • What are the direct and indirect economic effects of financial digitalization ?
  • Can financial digitization increase resilience during crises and on what condition(s) ?
  • Through which channels can financial digitization support the social and environmental objectives of sustainable development, including the energy transition ?

 Moderator :  

Patrick Guillaumont, President, Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Développement International

 Introducing presentation : 

Céline Rochon, Senior economist, International Monetary Fund

Discussion : 

Younoussa Imani, Governor, Central Bank of Comoros

Purva Khera,  Economist, International Monetary Fund

Frannie Leautier, Chief Executive Director, SouthBridge

Sheila Okiro, Chief Investment Officer, African Development Bank

Vera Songwe, Chair of the Liquidity and Sustainability Facility, Co-Chair of the High-Level Expert Group on Climate Finance and Non-Resident Fellow, The Brookings Institution

1:15 – 2:30 pm


Session 3 : Securing and regulating financial digitization
2:30 – 4:00 pm
  • How to license, supervise and regulate Fintechs and other digitization actors ?
  • What tools should be used to secure digital payment methods, particularly in the face of the risks of illicit flows (AML/CFT) ?
  • What are the main consumer protection issues in the face of digitization (transparency of conditions, data protection) ?
  • How to face the double challenge of digital and financial education of users ?

Moderator :  

Bruno Cabrillac, Deputy Director General of Economics and International Relations, Banque de France

 Introducing presentation : 

Robert Wardrop, Professor, Director and co-founder of the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance

Discussion : 

Eric Duflos, Financial systems senior specialist, CGAP

Timothée Dufour,  Expert Fintech Pole, ACPR

Andrea Grifoni, Politics analyst, INFE, OECD

Blaine Stephens, Advisor, Inclusive Finance, CERISE

Abbas Mahamat Tolli, Governor, Banque des Etats d’Afrique Centrale

4:00 – 4:15 pm

Coffee break

Roundtable discussion
4:15 – 5:15 pm

What development opportunities and risks for Africa related to digitization and currency competition ?


Erick Lacourrège,  Director General Cash Retail Payment, Banque de France

 Panel : 

Aivo Handriatiana Andrianarivelo, Governor, Central Bank of Madagascar

Morten Bech, Director of Swiss Innovation Hub, Bank for International Settlements

Jean-Claude Brou, Governor, Banque Centrale des Etats d’Afrique de l’Ouest

Harvesh Seegolam, Governor, Bank of Mauritius

Abbas Mahamat Tolli, Governor, Banque des Etats d’Afrique Centrale

Closing remarks
5:15 – 5:30 am

Christian Yoka, Director of Africa department, AFD

Patrick Guillaumont, President, FERDI


  • Banque de France
  • Agence française de développement (AFD)