SWIFT African Regional Conference to take place in Abidjan

SWIFT will hold its 24th African Regional Conference (ARC) in Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire on 16-18 May 2017. Supported by the Côte D’Ivoire banking community, ARC 2017 will bring together up to 500 high level financial representatives from across 45 countries for three days of keynote speeches and interactive panel sessions. The programme features senior speakers and strategic thinkers from across the industry and the continent.

Guy Koizan, First Vice President of the Banking Association, Ivory Coast, said: “Holding the SWIFT African Regional Conference in Côte D’Ivoire illustrates the strength and stability of the country’s economic and business environments and the dynamic role it is playing in Africa’s development. Abidjan will play host to hundreds of leading financial experts at ARC who will discuss the most significant issues facing the region.”

SWIFT has announced the first distinguished speakers set to participate in ARC 2017:

  • Kalyani Pillay, CEO, South African Banking Risk & Information Centre
  • Rose Mambo, Chief Executive, Central Depository & Settlement Corporation Kenya
  • Chris Hamilton, CEO, BankServ Africa and member of the SWIFT Africa Advisory Group
  • Leonida Mutuku, Co-founder & CEO, Intelipro
  • Sam Okenye, Chief Information Security Officer, United Bank for Africa
  • Farzam Ehsani, Head of the Foundery, Rand Merchant Bank’s blockchain initiative
  • Sizwe Nxedlana, Chief Economist, First National Bank
  • Segun Aina, Chairman, FinTech Associates (Nigeria)
  • James Scott, Head of CIB Digital, Barclays Africa
  • Wumi Adeniyi, Chief Compliance Officer, Heritage Bank
  • Mouawia Essekelli, Deputy Director General, Global Transaction Banking, Attijariwafa Bank
  • Olivier Miet, Global Head of Sales & Network Management, Cash Clearing Services for Banks & FI, Société Générale
  • Astrid Ludin, Research and Strategy, Strate
  • Lebogang Mokgabudi, Director M-Commerce, Esoko
  • Ishmael Nwokocha, Treasurer, MTN Nigeria
  • Mary Sabwa, East Africa Sales Head, Citi

The theme of this year’s African Regional Conference is ‘Financing for the future’. The opening plenary will look at how African countries can diversify their economies to help drive growth. With increasingly challenging global conditions, including the downturn in the commodities cycle, the session will look at whether the ‘Africa Rising’ narrative is still relevant, and what African countries can do to decrease reliance on international investment and aid, and support African development for the benefit of Africa.

Sido Bestani, Head of the Middle East, Turkey & Africa, SWIFT, said: “While global economic conditions have put pressure on many African economies, others have seen solid growth supported by public infrastructure investment, private consumption and a growing services sector. ARC 2017 provides a unique platform for the African financial community to come together, discuss the shared challenges faced by the continent and look at how they can make the most of the opportunities.”