Nairobi Honoured as Africa's New Leader in Financial Technology

  • Aerial view of Nairobi city
    Aerial view of Nairobi city
  • Nairobi has been ranked as the only African city in the top 50 category of cities around the globe according to the 2021 Global Fintech Rankings. The city was ranked in position 37 ahead of Lagos which dropped to position 93rd and Accra at position 151.

    This makes Nairobi the city with the largest fintech ecosystem in Africa according to the report.

    The report comes after the recently released Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2021, which shows that Nairobi replaced Lagos as Africa’s top startup centre.

    Aerial view of Lagos City at night
    Aerial view of Lagos City at night

    The city with the largest fintech ecosystem globally is San Francisco in the US, followed by London, New York, Sao Paulo, Tel Aviv, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Singapore.

    Some 50 new cities and 20 countries, which host the HQ of at least ten privately owned fintechs, have joined the index in 2021.

    These countries include Seychelles, Rwanda, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, and Somalia.

    Eighty-three countries and 265 cities were analyzed in the 2021 edition, and rankings are done by an algorithm that looks at data captured by StarupBlink and verified by Findexable.

    The data comes from over 60 fintech associations worldwide and platforms such as SEMrush and Crunchbase.

    Findexable stated its proprietary algorithm ignores subjective data (such as interviews) and only considers data such as the number of fintechs in a particular country or city and their characteristics (aspects like web presence, monthly visits, customer base, and market value).

    Cities like Riyadh and Tel Aviv have improved their rankings significantly, with Tel Aviv now among the top 10 in the world.

    Out of the 83 countries in the 2021 rankings, more than 20% are new entrants.

    This means that emerging markets are digitally savvy but underbanked populations continue to be sources of fintech innovation.

    Photo of Nairobi City County.
    Undated aerial view photo of Nairobi City County.
    Daily Nation