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By Cynthia Alo

Technology experts have said that investors are largely interested in finance and finance-related solutions because of its centrality to society.

These were the submissions of the experts who spoke at the sixth edition of the Lagos Startup Week held recently.

The event with the theme, “Building the Next Billion”, had the panelists speak extensively on the future of the Nigerian & African Tech Ecosystem and how with innovation, the ecosystem can evolve for the better.

Speaking on the theme, Technology Advisor and Head Legal and Compliance at Branch, Tolulope Osindero explained how technology evolved and created the need for a change in the finance ecosystem.

She said: “Getting a loan was very difficult as it took time for the bank to do their due diligence. Around the 2000s, the introduction of the internet and the proliferation of mobile phones precipitated the need for the finance ecosystem to change. Access to money had to improve and become faster due to its direct impact on people.”

Although technology is no longer an industry, but rather the underlying driver of change and innovation for every business everywhere including Africa. It is important to have a mutually respectful relationship with regulators,” she added.

Speaking further, she said, “Banking and finance have always been regulated. You will always have a regulator and you are not more powerful than your regulators. Understanding that from day one even at your conception stage helps you to think about creative ways to engage your regulators and how to communicate properly. I’ll say that the relationship with regulators has significantly improved in Nigeria. The manner of approach is very key, you have to take them through the product, the building process and how the market is using this technology.”

On his part, President and Co-CEO,Opay Nigeria,Olu Akanmu said, “One of the things we should do in tech is engage our regulators more with an open mind. As Founders, we should deal with regulators with more emotional intelligence”.

Also speaking, Strategy & Finance Specialist at Paystack, Nefe Etomi said, “You need to tread carefully with regulators especially if you intend to operate in multiple countries because if you mess up in one country, it can affect entry into another.”

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