NIGERIA – The Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF), an Access bank initiative that aims to nurture and accelerate the growth of Fintech startups in Nigeria, has collaborated with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to support 10 startups, to increase the adoption of eNaira in the country.

The head of Africa Fintech Foundry, Mr. Daniel Awe while speaking on the sideline of the semi-final pitching of the eNaira Hackathon 2022, disclosed that the top 10 startups, innovators, and entrepreneurs, were part of the over 5,000 startups that registered for the eNaira hackathon.

He further stated that there was a need to increase the adoption of eNaira in the country, as it enhances financial inclusion, supports the digital economy, and improves economic activities.

Mr. Awe revealed that despite the widespread criticism that ensued during the launch of the eNaira, with a lot of Nigerians preferring cryptocurrency, he disclosed that if they look inwardly, they will begin to see the truth that the eNaira is going to be a successful product.

“eNaira was introduced by CBN in 2021 as a digital currency and a lot of people have asked the question, what is actually the usefulness of this eNaira?” he said.

“A lot of people have also criticized eNaira, that they prefer cryptocurrency, but the truth is that the eNaira is going to be a successful product when there are use cases where people are able to see problems it is going to be solving.”

On the other hand, speaking on the eNaira Hackathon platform, he disclosed that it is a place where innovators, developers, entrepreneurs and coders will come together to solve problems as well as create innovative ideas where the eNaira is leveraged.

He further disclosed that the platform was layered on eNaira, so that consumers will now begin to see the benefit of the eNaira, also giving them the opportunity to see the problem that the eNaira will solve.

At the final of the hackathon program, the top 10 startups will be awarded prices in eNaira.

The first position is going to get 5 million eNaira, the second position will get 3 million, eNaira while the third position will get 2 million eNaira, and the remaining will get 1 million eNaira.

After these top 10 startups are awarded the eNaira, they will then proceed to resume in the African Fintech Foundry accelerator program, where some of them will get some funding to start up their businesses on their ideas, and these startups will be closely guided by the CBN and AFF.

Mr. Awe said that by the time these startups come up with good businesses with their innovations, employment would be created and they would increase the adoption of eNaira.

However, the adoption of the eNaira has been trailed with skepticism and uncertainty as some Nigerian citizens disclosed that they have issues trusting the Central Bank of Nigeria, due to the fact that they banned the transaction of cryptocurrency in the country.

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