PALOP that’s the acronym I am talking about.
By 2030, there will be half billion people speaking Portuguese around the world, and if you have heard the name NuBank you know there are giant unicorns popping over (way beyond Fintech, by the way) in Brasil.
In Africa, there are five portuguese speaking countries: Angola, Mozambique, Cabo Verde, Guineas Bissau and Sao Tomé-Principe.
They do have healthy ties with Portugal, but most importantly, as far as FinTech (and I’m some case tech entrepreneurship at large) is about to get noticed.
If you have been to Web summit or Money2020 (listen here to the breaking banks Europe we did from these weeks) you could clearly perceive that Africa’s recent unicorns (Flutterwawe, Chipper Cash) or exits (like Paystack) are putting back The Continent in the map.
But not all of it – yet.
I am writing this blog on a plane to Abidjan, to speak at the Africa FinTech Forum, and Francophone Africa is really surging. The forum is pan-African, but truth is that those 200M people of sub-Saharan Africa with the same currency and a financial regulation in common are the next boomers, I would say. Most of the entrepreneurs operating in this region they think multi-country scale by design, as it should be.
And since I like the challenges, let me say I would like to put PALOP in the map, as of … now.
Here the magic potion is the cultural and language ties, the bond with Portugal, and the opportunity to shorten the time to market because we can learn from predictive success patterns in terms of what has worked elsewhere in Africa, despite the differences.
Especially in financial Services, with the surge of Fintech regulation framework in certain countries (like Mozambique, as we speak) and the digital leap that pandemic accelerated by (unfortunate) nature, there is a huge opportunity to deepen the financial wealth (in the academic and healthy meaning) of the people.
Practically, how to kick it off?
I met my friend Jose Bucassa in Lisbon, he is organising the Angola Digital Summit, and we will open up a discussion forum for a PALOP Inclusion Summit, across tech, and focusing a lot on financials services and entrepreneurship, with our friends from Mozambique (Esselina Macome, Joao Gaspar, Sasha Vieira) Cabo Verde (Milton Cabral) and of course Guinea Bissau and Sao-Tome Principe (this post is also about connecting some of my new LinkedIn acquaintances here).
I have in mind a rotating summit, with antennas in each country, to start with, and advance the dialogue. I don’t want to do the infrastructure of the event, I would like to contribute to advancing the critical dialogue (that one is stolen from Sibos, my friends
Will forgive me)
So, let’s start. Who should we talk to?
Stay tuned soon, this is a 2022 project!