Investment and Financial professionals have been urged to adopt the digital revolution to maximize investor returns during and post the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking during the opening of the Institute of Certified Investment and Financial Analysts (ICIFA) 2nd international investment conference on the future of investing held on 22-23 April 2021, Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development Betty Maina said that financial and operational exigencies occasioned by the COVID-19 Pandemic should be a wakeup call for financial analysts and investment professionals to re-align their business models in line with the digital revolution.
On the global scale, the CS noted that following the financial and operational constraints occasioned by the COVID-19 Pandemic, investment & financial institutions have been re- aligning business models accordingly while accelerating the pace of technological change to meet the emerging operational demands.
“The advent of the digital revolution means that the new generation of investors is more informed and more discerning than their parents, or the older generation of investors. In the next few years, we’ll see more and more investment strategies for those who want to invest, but who do not have a lot of extra money available”, she added.
As the global economy shifts through the rapid changes, she added, the finance industry will be required to be at the forefront of innovation through technology.
The CS cited the runaway success of Financial Technology (FinTech) innovations in Kenya such as M-PESA as an example of how the financial sector has revolutionized ways of doing business.
“Due to the greater expansion of the FinTech space in Kenya, we have seen the spread and the increased use of digital assets and currencies (such as cryptocurrency) as alternative mediums of exchange” she noted.
She said that government operations have gained tremendously from FinTech innovations leading to increased use of FinTech in the delivery of Government Services and the various government outreach initiatives.
“All these developments speak to an enabling policy environment for FinTech innovation and a society that is generally receptive to technological innovations and advancements” she added.
The CS noted that the government is keen to continue creating an enabling investment environment for both public and private sector investors, through appropriate policy measures and targeted transformative actions aimed at increasing and diversifying investments.
“To maximise on this progress, the Government, will continue to address any emerging issues in our legislative and regulatory frameworks, to further promote investments in key high potential areas” she told conference delegates.
The two-day conference addressed issues in the financial and investment industry ranging from the impact of COVID-19 on investment outlooks; New technologies such as Blockchain and their potential to disrupt financial and capital markets; Regulatory Policy and Strategy; FinTech; Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning; Adoption of Environmental Social and Governance approaches in investment among others.
Other speakers during the conference included the Keynote speaker Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, the immediate former Secretary General UNCTAD, ICIFA Chairman FFA Dr. Jonah Ayaibei, ICIFA Vice Chairman FA Einstein Kihanda and ICIFA Chief Executive Officer FA Diana Muriuki-Maina.