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How to Help Africa Develop more Billion-dollar Startups

African governments need to work on market integration if the continent is to facilitate the growth of its fintech sector, says Dare Okoudjou, founder and CEO of pan-African payments company MFS Africa. Speaking to African Business at the Inclusive FinTech Forum in Kigali, Okoudjou says that the “size of markets” is the biggest challenge facing the African fintech sector. With the potential exceptions of Nigeria, Egypt, and South Africa, Okoudjou believes that the economies of individual African countries are too small to accommodate fintech unicorns or other large companies. “There’s simply not space to have a billion-dollar revenue fintech company in Rwanda,” Okoudjou says. “It’s just not possible. So, it has to be possible for these businesses to be multi-market. Part of the answer to minimising this “complexity” and encouraging cross-border growth could be passporting. This would allow firms licenced in one jurisdiction to operate in another country without having to obtain further licences or regulatory approval, as is the case in the European Union, for example.