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João Gaspar: “Academia is the Pillar of Innovation in Mozambique”

João Gaspar: “Academia is the Pillar of Innovation in Mozambique”

Universities play an important role in the training of national staff, developing sufficient skills in graduates to be applied in the country’s various sectors of activity, as is the case in the financial area, which has relied on the contribution of various professionals from academia to create financial solutions through technology.

On Thursday 11 April, the Mozambican President of the Association of Fintechs, João Gaspar, explained the importance of academia in training technological innovators in the financial sector, pointing out that “the country has a good capacity for innovation, relying on Mozambican staff to develop financial solutions. The national fintechs are usually made up of technicians or professionals who come out of universities”.

He was speaking at the launch of the book “Innovation, development and compliance in a changing financial sector”, at the Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM), produced by JLA Advogados, in partnership with Abreu Advogados, and attended by various companies, experts and academics.

“I think this is a new sector in the country, so there is a lot to be done in terms of regulation. We have discussed various issues with the Bank of Mozambique in this regard, so much so that we have a project with the institution and with the Information Technology regulator (INTIC), which is promoting a set of very important laws with an impact on innovation and the financial sector,” explained João Gaspar.

About the book

The book, which addresses the changes that have taken place over the last few decades in the country’s financial sector, as well as technological innovation and a greater concern with compliance, is signed by Diogo Pereira Duarte, partner and co-coordinator of Abreu Advogados’ Financial Law Practice Area; by Zara Jamal, partner at Abreu Advogados and JLA Advogados; and by Miguel Teixeira de Abreu, honorary partner and founder of Abreu Advogados.

Diogo Duarte, who was given the task of presenting the book, explains the motivations that led to the creation of the book, pointing out that several meetings were held with financial institutions in Mozambique to find out which were the major topics of interest and concern, and it was noted that, as in Portugal, the country has interesting topics, such as innovation supported by technology, corporate governance and risk control, risks associated with technology and money laundering.

“We also observed that, compared to other geographies, there was an opportunity for growth in the country’s capital market, as there is still a lot to be explored. For example, Mozambican companies can use the stock exchange to raise finance. As such, we identified innovation, development and compliance in the financial sector for the work, which is why the book is divided into these areas,” he explained.

Risks associated with technology-based financial services

During the round table discussion on “The Central Bank’s Digital Currency, Opportunities and Challenges – the Case of Mozambique and the Digital Euro Project”, there was room to discuss current issues in the country’s financial sector, where the need to pay attention to the risks associated with technology was highlighted.

“Mozambique has made significant strides in terms of innovation in the financial sector. It’s true that much of what exists is the result of what we see in other countries. However, we also have our own internal initiatives,” explained Ivan Mausse, a lecturer at UEM’s Faculty of Law.

Mausse emphasised that the country has been attentive to the development of cryptocurrencies: “I remember that in 2018, when there was the possibility of the use of digital currencies, in this case Bitcoin, the central bank itself issued a note to draw attention to the risks that could arise from the use of this type of currency in a context in which the country had no knowledge of the matter.”

See Also

Round table on “Central Bank Digital Currency, Opportunities and Challenges – the Case of Mozambique and the Digital Euro Project”

He explained that, in addition to the measures taken by the central bank, “we also have the National Financial Inclusion Strategy, which was approved in 2019, and which also presents a set of initiatives aimed at promoting the appropriate use of technology in payment services. We had, again, in 2013, the Strategy for the Development of Financial Institutions, which also presents some measures on how technology can be used for the purposes of electronic transactions.”

“We also looked at innovation from the point of view of the money laundering law – one of the issues that has sparked debate. The law serves to respond to the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF),” he said, adding that Mozambique has already had two reforms to the money laundering law in less than 13 years.


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