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Barclays sponsors a conference discussing how the financial services sector can support Africa's development by encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation.

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Barclays sponsors a conference discussing how the financial services sector can support Africa's development by encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation.

The event, entitled 'Banking on Africa: Transforming Enterprise, Investment and Innovation', takes place today in London and is organised by UK think tank the Foreign Policy Centre.

The conference will also address the issue of how banks can support greater financial inclusion in Africa.

Other topics that are expected to be discussed at the event include:

  • How recent developments in global banking regulation affect development financing for Africa
  • How local financial systems and markets can be developed to strengthen access to financial services and improve the lives of those across the continent
  • The new technologies that need to be developed to increase the reach of financial services and reduce transaction costs across Africa.

Ashok Vaswani, Chief Executive, Barclays Africa, and Baroness Margaret Jay, Co-President of the Foreign Policy Centre, will open the conference.

Ashok will also participate in a panel discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing development finance in the current climate of global uncertainty.

Other speakers invited to take part in a series of panel discussions include Josephine Osikena, Director of the Foreign Policy Centre; Stephen O'Brien, UK International Development Minister; Marie Staunton, CEO of the non-governmental organisation Plan International; and Chris West, Director, Shell Foundation.

They will be accompanied by more than 150 guests at the event, including representatives from government, business, academia and non-profit organisations from Africa and across the world.

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