African digital platforms are giving rise to new financial needs; creating and bridging barriers to financial and economic inclusion; and revolutionising the informal economic activities of merchants and individuals. These platforms can have both positive and negative effects on development, but the net impact on Africa will ultimately be shaped by the responses of industry, regulators, government and civil society.0 To better understand these dynamics, insight2impact facility (i2i) and The Mastercard Foundation Partnership for Finance in a Digital Africa (FiDA) partnered to convene experts on these topics. Representatives from research organisations, donors, development partners, financial service providers (FSPs) and African digital platforms met in Cape Town on 29 November 2018 to:0 Take stock of the latest research insights Advance and align research activities Solicit input from industry champions on the relationship between the digitisation of African marketplaces, the financial sector and economic inclusion This blog describes the key themes and questions we encountered during the day. And, our closing thoughts from the workshop are summarised as follows:0 Digital platforms challenge existing notions of (in)formality. Digital platforms can, and do, incorporate analogue features. Platforms are emerging as distributors of financial services. Regulatory changes are needed in the platform economy.
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