Globally and locally, today’s youth have access to all digital devices and are naturally tech savvy. However, as technological advancements are developing at an ever-faster rate, many students are not aware of the term FinTech – how it can change, build their career and usher in opportunities for them.
As FinTech moves into the mainstream and as we witness its growing demand around the world, preparing students for the future of finance is vital. The financial services industry is shifting dramatically as new technology innovations take over and the Mauritius Africa FinTech Hub (MAFH) is constantly seeking to help students grow and expand their potential in this sector through the Future FinTech Champions programme.
The Future FinTech Champions (FFC) programme is a one-year capacity building project designed by MAFH to develop the skills and knowledge of the Mauritian FinTech leaders of tomorrow – a first in its nature in the region.
The pilot programme was run in 2021 by MAFH with a cohort of 20 students from six local universities. The Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB) is now the first Mauritian Sponsor for the 2022 cohort, composed of 24 students enrolled in eight local universities.
Commenting on this, Chief Executive Officer of the MAFH, Michal Szymanski said, “The MCB is the official partner and sponsor of the FFC 2022. As a renowned largest local bank, it will enhance the opportunity for the FFCs and they will have a chance to work closely with MCB, which represents an ideal ecosystem to support the FFCs throughout their journey. Out of 54 African countries, Mauritius is a case in point where emphasis is being laid on the upskilling of the youth and the FFC is a one of its kind programme allowing for the building of FinTech policies. The private sector requires 21st century skills and upskilling yourselves for jobs that do not exist yet is the way to contribute to the future of the country.”
Present at the event and representing MCB, Darshana Seetah, Innovation Executive congratulated the finalists of this year’s FFC programme. She shared a message from her colleague, Vishal Ramphul, Innovation Management Lead at MCB, who could not be present at the event. Vishal commented saying, “As the first bank to join the MAFH in 2020, MCB firmly believes in the potential of ongoing FinTech activities developing in Mauritius. MCB is fully committed to take a more active part in the ecosystem and is in line with MAFH’s vision to position Mauritius as a FinTech hub in Africa. We are very proud to sponsor the Future FinTech Champions programme 2022 and we look forward to embarking on this amazing journey with the MAFH and this year’s cohort. The FFC programme will help you hone your skills and deepen your knowledge of the industry and grow into ambassadors for the FinTech sector.”
For the Inaugural 2022 cohort, the details are as follows:
- 24 FFCs selected
- From 8 universities – University of Mauritius, African Leadership University, Curtin University Mauritius, Middlesex University, Mauritius Institute of Technology (MITD), Université Des Mascareignes, Amity University and University Technology of Mauritius
- Students onboarded in February 2022
- FFCs will participate in MAFH events which will take place every month during their programme, including technical workshops, industry talks, entrepreneurial skill workshops, networking events, roundtables, pitching events, organizing events and panel discussions
- A selection of opinion articles written by the FFCs will be submitted, out of which the best will be published on the MAFH website.
Commenting on the FFC programme 2022, Lisa Dosooye, Head of Skills at the MAFH said, “FFCs will be organising events and be part of the ecosystem, which ultimately will lead students towards learning and upskilling through the various workshops. This is where they will learn leadership skills as well as communication skills which will help them devise an enhanced portfolio of work ready skills. By the end of the programme, students will gain new knowledge and understanding of FinTech, a network of industry contacts, an enhanced CV and a graduation certificate.”
On a concluding note, last year’s FFC best performing participants, Balramsing Balgobin, Zaynah Bibi Nuckchedee and Manjishtha Chamroo also addressed this year’s FFC participants and shared their journey and experience.
They described the FFC journey as a platform that provided amazing opportunities for networking and learning where they got to organise events in Artificial Intelligence, develop industry ready skills such as critical thinking, understand the Virtual Cryptocurrency Trading Competition as well as the Virtual Stock Exchange Competition 2021 and work and progress as a team.