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Blockchain Africa Conference 2022
March 17, 2022, Online
Blockchain Africa Conference 2022
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Blockchain Africa Conference 2022
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Panel: Next Generation of Cross-Border Payments in Africa
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About the talk

Moderated by Ernest Mbenkum. The traditional correspondent banking model results in high fees for both FX and transaction costs, with settlement ranging between 1-5 days. These inefficiencies can significantly impact the end user. Digital assets are emerging as changing the game for international payments, especially in Africa. While there is some regulatory uncertainty surrounding how digital assets function in the global economy, the value add they bring to cross-border transfers is undeniable.

About speakers

Emmanuel Babalola
CEO at Bundle
Ernest Mbenkum
Founder & CEO at Interstellar Inc.
ELENDU UCHE
CEO at AppZone Switch
Elizabeth Rossiello
Founder and CEO at AZA Finance

Emmanuel Babalola is the Director for Africa at Binance and the interim CEO of Bundle, the Africa-focused social payments app for cash and crypto, driving crypto adoption on the continent. He has pioneered education initiatives such as Binance Masterclass which provides free blockchain education courses to the masses, especially in Africa and has reached over 400,000 people. He has also helped establish self-regulated blockchain institutions in Nigeria that have played a key role in building the crypto & blockchain ecosystem across Africa. Previously, he was the Business Development Manager at Binance in Nigeria — leading the Africa chapter of the world’s largest crypto exchange and blockchain infrastructure provider– and the VP of Sales & Marketing at Churchplus, the biggest church management solution in Nigeria. Babalola is also a self-taught software developer and has created multiple apps and products. Babalola holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Uyo in Nigeria and is currently studying for an MSc in Digital Currency and Blockchain Technology from the University of Nicosia in Cyprus.

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Ernest is a Cameroonian/Canadian entrepreneur, inventor, investor, and computer scientist who has spent over 20 years of his career in the technology and innovation space. He has launched successful tech companies in North America, Europe, and Africa over the last two decades. He was an early adopter for blockchain technology in 2009, starting with the bitcoin blockchain and is also credited for helping to start the Blockchain movement in Canada with Vitalik Buterin, and Anthony Di’Iorio which lead to major contributions to the blockchain space such as the Ethereum blockchain. He is the founder and CEO of Interstellar Inc., Africa’s first and leading enterprise blockchain infrastructure company that powers critical blockchain infrastructure for digital payments and financial institutions in Africa.

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Elendu Uche is the CEO of AppZone Switch, an AppZone Group subsidiary. Zone, their main product, is a decentralized payment infrastructure that uses blockchain to make digital payments across Africa faster, cheaper, and more reliable. With over ten years of expertise creating and delivering payment solutions to financial institutions and enterprises, he is a financial services and payment solutions expert. Over the years, he has worked in a variety of roles including software engineer, project management, and sales. Elendu is committed to promoting frictionless payments in Africa in order to increase trade and unlock economic prosperity.

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Elizabeth founded AZA Finance in 2013 in Nairobi, Kenya. In her previous roles as a rating analyst for global institutions across sub-Saharan Africa, Elizabeth consulted for organisations like the Grameen Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Acumen Fund. Throughout this experience, she saw first-hand how African businesses and currencies were consistently undervalued and underserved by the “developed world,” in part due to pervasive Western stereotypes about the continent. She realised that Africa’s embrace of financial technologies like mobile money posed an invaluable opportunity to change the narrative. The right company could bridge the financial services gap between G20 and African countries, which would unlock Africa’s trillion-dollar growth through new jobs, partnerships and investment. She decided to found AZA Finance (then Bitpesa) to realise this vision, starting by bringing blockchain and digital currencies to the African market. AZA has since expanded to offer a full suite of FX and payments services across all major African and G20 currencies, powered by its proprietary fintech platforms. To date, AZA has managed more than $2 billion in global transactions for SMEs, global organisations and companies from more than 115 countries. Its incredible mission and growth was recognized by Fast Company in 2021 as a Global Top 10 Most Innovative Company. Elizabeth is committed to expanding access to financial technologies and global markets.

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Emmanuel Babalola
Ernest Mbenkum
ELENDU UCHE
Elizabeth Rossiello