QENA DIGITAL LENDING HELD ITS FIRST KNOWLEDGE SEMINAR
On February 21, 2022, Kifiya’s Qena Digital Lending held the first knowledge seminar titled UNCOLLATERALIZED DIGITAL LENDING FOR MSMEs in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation (under its Young Africa Works in Ethiopia initiative) and its knowledge partner International Finance Corporation (IFC) at the Sheraton Addis.
The Knowledge session was organized with the aim of bringing different stakeholders together to bring about disruption in leveraging digital financial services for MSMEs digital lending and to bridge the knowledge gap on uncollateralized digital lending and alternative data sources for Credit Scoring.
This knowledge session highlighted research findings, case studies, vast impact-oriented experiences, presentations, and panel discussions, featuring a mix of experts with diverse experience.
The seminar was organized to create a dialog among leading industry experts, researchers, bank senior officials, entrepreneurs, regulators, government, and other key stakeholders who have direct and indirect roles in the transformation of digital lending and enhancing access to finance for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Ethiopia.
The Seminar commenced with an opening remark from Mr. Abebe Chekol, Country Head Mastercard Foundation, and a Keynote speech by Mr. Cheick-Oumar Sylla, Regional Director IFC. Mr. Hartell K.M. Ndungi (Chief Data Officer of Absa Bank in Kenya), Ms. Margarete O. Billas Digital financial services specialist at IFC, Munir Duri, Kifiya Financial CEO, each shared case studies, research on Principle & practice of uncollateralized digital lending, credit scoring, and highlighted what Qena Uncollateralized digital lending platform is.
The last session of the knowledge seminar showcased a panel discussion themed “uncollateralized digital lending to unlock MSMEs’ potential”. moderated by Hilawi Tadesse from the Cepheus Capital, that featured panelists Mr.Frezer Ayalew, Director of Bank Supervision – National Bank of Ethiopia, Mr. Abebe Chekol – Mastercard Foundation, Mr Aman Vice president, Cooperative bank of Oromia and Thomas Bekele from the MSME.
Panelists gave insight into the issues of access to finance challenges and opportunities for MSMEs, the regulatory angle on how to address and enhance MSMEs’ access to finance practices, and trends in the global practices of addressing MSME challenges, and the role of digital in solving these challenges.
Kifiya Financial Technology’s CEO Munir Duri said “Ethiopia is embarking on transforming the financial sector and embracing digital first. Digital is knowledge at its center. And everyone needs to partake in bridging the knowledge gap in the sector. This is the beginning of a knowledge series to bring experts to debate, share ideas, experiences, and lessons to provide digital financial services to small businesses and smallholder farmers.”.