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Dilawar Syed, Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs, Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs on U.S. Africa Relations, Talents, and Technology
“It is so important that we build this ecosystem, develop the talents and adopt open platforms; in fact, you help us create and strengthen those open platforms and they are inclusive as we think about building the future of Africa” Dilawar Syed, the Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, in his closing remarks at the African Fintech Summit (AFTSDC2023) which held on March 12 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
The Africa Fintech Summit brought together a diverse group of industry stakeholders, US government officials, entrepreneurs, and diaspora working to create change in Africa. The event was attended by several enthusiastic presenters and panelists who shared their insights on the fintech industry in Africa. Syed emphasized the importance of building an inclusive technology ecosystem, developing talent, and adopting open platforms to build the future of Africa.
The event brought together a diverse group of entrepreneurs and stakeholders who shared their insights on the fintech industry in Africa. Syed, with his extensive entrepreneurship experience at both the federal and state levels, has established multinational corporations that have had a significant impact on the technology, healthcare, and business services sectors. As he assists American businesses in their export initiatives through commercial lobbying and ensures they receive a level playing field abroad, his speech added significant educational value to the event.
Syed stressed that technology talent is the key to building the tech and fintech industry, and without it, it is almost impossible to build an application at scale. He urged the need to invest more in software development talent and data scientists. Syed also highlighted the US commitment to Africa through the announcement of the Digital Transformation with Africa (DTA) initiative at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum on December 14 in Washington, DC, which aims to help develop technical skills in Africa.
The DTA initiative aims to promote an open, interoperable, dependable, and secure African digital ecosystem led by African communities and built to last. The digital ecosystem in Africa has enormous potential to boost economic growth, foster opportunity, advance social and gender equality, and provide employment.
Young and upcoming entrepreneurs had the opportunity to seek advice from Syed, who counseled them to form a strong team and build relationships within the continent and across the Atlantic. With his extensive expertise and global business success, Syed’s speech was an opportunity for entrepreneurs, stakeholders, and diaspora to learn and take advantage of the US commitment and investment to the continent.
Written by: Karesha Graham
Editor – Omitogun Abolaji