The Tunis Higher School of Communications organized the 20th edition of the SUP’COM forum on November 6, 2019, on the theme: “FinTech: A disruptive innovation”.
The forum is a precious opportunity for promoting digital culture and innovation in this field as well as the impact on other sectors.
Young students, graduates, companies and educational institutions, attended the forum during which they exchanged ideas and knowledge. It also provided the occasion to discuss Fintech issues with experts who participated in the event namely SupCom Director Sofiene Cherif, President of the University of Carthage Olfa Ben Oouda, Marwan Abbasi governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT) and many other prominent figures in the field of finance technology.
Sofiene Cherif SupCom Director said that the theme of the forum FinTech which is in its 20 edition, whose term is a combination of finance and technology directly, targets companies and generally startups that use digitization, blockchain and artificial intelligence. The aim is to develop finance service and make it easier and more accessible from crowdfunding, mobile application and platform to virtual currency and electronic payment.
The digital revolutionize the finance system, he said in this connection, underlining that this thematic becomes more and more important and in full expansion worldwide.
The Investment in the world level increased from $1 billion in 2008 to $ 112 billion in 2018 in this area of finance, he went on saying.
“How to transform Tunisia into a new startup hub in Africa and the Mediterranean and what is the role of the universities and the academics in promoting this sector”, Sofiene Cherif wondered.
The answer to these questions to the different stakeholders of the sector, we need to put recommendations not only we have to allow FinTech contribute actively to the growth of our digital economy but also illuminate our students on the stakes and the challenges of the FinTech that motivate them to create value-added by partnership and innovation which are the objective of the new edition of the SupCom Forum.
President of the University of Carthage Olfa Ben Ouda said in turn, that this theme is very interesting given the relationship between Finance and technology and it is a strategic question for Tunisia because it is a way to strengthen the relations between academics and financial technology.
This openness is an opportunity to have an advanced and more focused idea of the financial technology and establish a link between finance and digital technology professors, she said.
The President of the University of Carthage pointed out that today combining these fields, specialists in finance and specialists in the digital sector are able to help create exchanges and setting up finance projects
The university today no longer wants to play the role of the trainer but rather wants to play the role of locomotive for economic development, she emphasized.
Marwan Abbasi governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT) said that the technology sharing in the finance technology field is essential to promote it and multiply its benefits.
Today we have a technological revolution in terms of technological and human means to achieve this success as we are in a real period of technological change, he added.
In addition, he talked about the agreement that was signed with the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy on the publication of the first exchange circular launched for the benefit of startups.
With startup label, he said, the young entrepreneurs can do everything as the technological card increased from 10 thousand dinars to 100 thousand dinars today. The BCT ordered banks the circulation of International Technological Cards for online use exclusively as part of the national project for the development of the digital economy.
The BCT Governor said this technological help its users from the startup community for hosting of websites and mobile applications, advertising and registration to foreign websites such as outsourcing (freelance) and educational websites, date gathering and service purchase online courses, application development tools and software license agreement.
The problem today is still on the financing level he regretted, referring to a loan agreement which was signed with the World Bank but it is still in parliament with no approval, voicing hope that the coming parliament will approve it because it helps the finance of these startups.
“I am convinced today that FinTech can be an extremely important facilitator to break these walls”, Marwan Abbassi said.
It is important to integrate entrepreneurship at the beginning of training as young students can manage to set up their own business while studying, he underlined, saying: “we need financial inclusiveness and FinTech is working on it.”
Now Tunisia is looking to be a pioneer in implementing blockchain as the Central Bank explores the use of the technology for a national digital dinar. The Tunisian central bank is working on blockchain, digital payments and cryptocurrencies, the BCT governor indicated.
“A blockchain-based, central bank digital currency could combat money-laundering, decrease the country’s informal economy, and at the same time, empower weaker categories of the Tunisian population” Abbassi added.
It is worth noting that the BCT Governor Marouane Abbasi, has been picked as Best Central Bank Governor in 2019 for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, on the sidelines of the Annual Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.