Last April during the annual Spring Meeting, the World Bank Group laid down the foundation of the strategy to launch the digitalisation of Africa’s economies.  It emerged a mixed picture, the Panellists being aware that the “World Bank’s gamble on building digital economies in Africa comes with a number of risks”, as it has been reported:

In our Group  we have extensively discussed the digitalisation as a means to realize financial inclusion that is the main avenue to achieve the inclusive growth’s overall goal. The Spring Meeting indirectly has confirmed this reasoning.

But there are other lessons to learn. The entire architecture of the digitalisation could risk collapsing because the tree Pillars’ Strategy designed to sustain it could be a hazard, on the grounds, among other factors, that African investors remain risk-averse” and …. the funding requests lack “speaking the language required for investment”. 

Above situations are well-known to the Africa business’ insiders, which the financial establishment have nowadays certified. And if WB-IMF, the chiefs African Entrepreneurs and Financiers and Nigerian businessman and banker Tony Elumelu– who five years ago launched Africapitalism ( said that, we must believe them.

Analysing the investments’ trend it has emerged that the real estate has much appealed to a detriment to other productive sectors and particularly of the investments aiming at financing small and medium-sized business, which are the backbone of countries’ economy. We don’t say that the real estate should be neglected; on the contrary, it is a good vehicle, on condition to be equalised with other productive sectors.

The reasons behind African investors/entrepreneurs’ attitude deserve attention and maybe the sociologists could help and provide us with a comprehensive explanation, which is very important when it comes to proposing remedies.

Besides a sociological explanation, in our view, there are some bottlenecks on both the methodological and business practice.

Our attention to the methodological approach in connection with microfinance market started soon after the release (2010) of Basel III document on the regulations of microfinance activities in view of the monitor and supervise the uncontrolled growth of the sector. Why we have investigated this segment of the market? Because MFI, Rural Banks, People Banks and Grass Roots Organizations are the main vehicles for the journey to financial inclusion; hence, knowing their markets along with the way they run business is a necessary step for technologists who have to design a suitable model.

On the matter we have published “Suggestions for designing new credit models”, Microfinance Gateway, 06/2011, which has been rated among the first five most read documents in 2011)

Then, Basel III has updated above document and introduced an element of transparency with positive effects for both investors and donors because they can properly plan the interventions. Besides, the document has made a distinction between “unserved and underserved customers”, which is very useful for market segmentation purposes, serving MFI decision makers to distinguish interventions for poverty matters tout-court and start-up and grow-businesses. 

However, the micro finance’s decision makers haven’t yet updated the way of doing business in line with SDGs and most likely in the battlefield, there are two armies guided by the cultural legacy and the cultural supremacy, respectively, belonging by Financiers and Technologists.

From the documents recently released by the international financial, we detected: (A) Move from credit-based economy to development-based economy, (B) Financial and economic inclusion should be understood as a unique approach, (C) The real question isn’t to have people connected with an account, but having people who could be eligible for an account.

In the below Posts we commented on the approach to digitalization and in 2017 we proposed a ROADMAP FOR TECHNOLOGISTS GOING TO PLACES, along with a Paradigm (highlighted in the other Post’s picture).

As we have posted “Fintech should aim at empowering people in the background of 2030 UN Agenda SDGs, which provide the digitalization with the related tasks”; . And: in 11/2015: OPEN LETTER TO FINTECH

There should be a considerable change in the approach to the market from PRODUCT INNOVATION to PROCESS INNOVATION, namely the capability to add value to a whatsoever electronic device by creating opportunity and wide the access to other facilities and the intervention should be sustainable for the provider, affordable for the user and market transparent. The accomplishment of this task is via market segmentation that is the practical step.

The real challenge for the technologists and financiers is the ability to provide the electronic devices with facilities that really empower people because without economic inclusion there won’t be the consistent digitalisation and financial inclusion as well.

 How to bring together Financers and Entrepreneurs in the framework of a fruitful cooperation between Governments and Private sector, as recommended by the Panellists?

For a contribution on the matter, we have just published “The Gateway to Africa Inclusive Growth – JAMBO (Swahili salutation) FUND, which is a suitable approach to make it happen poverty mitigation and countries’ inclusive growth via job creation and people empowerment. Although the Continent is the reference (it was necessary to have a landscape to refer to) the Model is suitable for a region and country level worldwide. Moreover, the Model is propaedeutic for working out a Business Plan at a micro and macro level (we couldn’t work out it for a Continent): it is just a matter to apply the proposed methodology.

For some flashes, see:

Seven questions about JAMBO FUND

The still hesitant Investors are invited to join the Partnership.


Autore: graziosiascanio

I am doctor in Economics. I am based in London (+44 7943286549) and Rome (+39 3273211887). I do have a banking background and specialization in Microfinance, Project Management-Monitoring-Evaluation, Risk Fund. I have accumulated more than 30 years of experience in 28 Countries and collaborated with the major international development organizations such as World Bank Group, Ministry of Foreign Affairs-Italian Co-operation, European Union, Danish Cooperation, FAO, UNDP and Others in East Europe, Caribbean, Central Asia and Africa.
- Investment Advisor
- Design, Manage, Evaluate Credit Projects Financial inclusion - Trust Funds - Guarantee Funds
- SME financing & Private Sector Development
- Association in submission Tenders dossiers & EOI
- Assist MFI decision makers to understand situations and take action
- Project Management & Evaluation
- Drafting Technical proposals & Methodologies
- Review and revision MFI strategy & Management
- Investigation for markets opportunities 
- Design credit models & Launch new products
- Capacity building, Business development, Financial inclusion
- Downscaling & Up scaling operations
- Backstopping position to follow-up multiple field activities
- Training Managers & Field staff. I launched the Service A PROJECT FOR MFI DECISION MAKERS. enquiry: I am Founder and Owner of 2030 FINANCIAl INCLUSION with LinkedIn, I published The Gateway to Africa Inclusive Growth, JAMBO FUND

1 commento su “THE DIGITAL ECONOMY IN AFRICA COULD BE A GAMBLE – Because Investments matter.”

  1. I would like to add a few lines: Market segmentation is the avenue to go and here we have proposed four big segments: a) People in needs for basic services.
b) People who aim at improving the family budget. c) People who aim at start-up.
d) People who aim at expanding an ongoing business. In the first segment, the financial provider is in the presence of food aid while in the second one we have income generating activities; in the third and fourth segment the lender is in the presence of enterprise development and, in such a case, there is accumulation, which should be correctly evaluated. Although JAMBO FUND has been conceived to finance the real economy, for financial inclusion purpose, above-mentioned segments ask for an accurate investigation to understand which kind of service may be added to the electronic device, making it clear the differences among lenders, developers and philanthropists.

    "Mi piace"


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