Dr Scott Timcke

Project Title: How can African Knowledges Aid in the Analysis of Contemporary FinTech in Africa?

Abstract

Through foregrounding questions around how African knowledges can aid in the analysis of contemporary FinTech in Africa,this project studies whether FinTech platforms could perpetuate neocolonial tendencies through their credit extending and reporting apparatuses as these technical affordances are shaped by algorithmic capitalism. Development agencies, philanthropists, and multinational corporations typically forecast that FinTech will be central to African financial inclusion in the global economy. The 2008 World Bank Annual Report, ‘Finance for All’ is one earlymarker that this global challenge can be addressed through ‘increasingconnectivity’ and FinTech can help the ‘unbanked’. Indeed, inclusion is vital given the enduring legacy of neoliberal development practices. I assess the prospects of these laudable goals through a comparative case study of FinTech in Kenya And South Africa. By complementing existing financial platform studies, the aim of my project is to see whether a ‘digital-creditor-debtor-divide’ may arise insub-Saharan Africa, what steps could be implemented to diminish this prospect, and what kinds of national and international regulations are required to ensureFinTech can best serve infrastructure for equitable industrialization in Africa.

Twitter: @ScottTimcke

Working with: Dr Chris Paterson and Dr Jorg Wiegratz