Participants share a group photo session during Local Tech Leaders Meeting with Meta’s Global Affairs President. KICTANet Thought Leadership Series.

KICTANet Thought Leadership Series: Meta Partnership Drives FinTech Innovation and Inclusion

KICTANet hosted Sir Nick Clegg, President for Global Affairs at Meta, on Monday in Nairobi for its quarterly Thought Leadership Series.

Centered around the theme of ‘Fostering Collaboration,’ the meeting brought together industry experts to foster dialogue and contribute to the continued growth and development of Kenya’s technology sector and the broader digital economy.

In addition, the Thought Leadership Series aimed to help industry leaders enhance their understanding of global initiatives and priorities among local tech leaders.

Moderated by Dr Grace Githaiga, CEO of KICTANet, Sir Nick Clegg, Meta’s President of Global Affairs, shared digital transformation in Kenya, focusing on Meta’s products and their impact. 

Meta Platforms, Inc. aims to empower people to connect and express themselves in Africa. It also wants to support small businesses by facilitating customer access through affordable advertising.

“Our mission is to provide service connectivity and democratise the economy so that small businesses can thrive as much as big companies traditionally have. And that’s very much reflected here in Kenya, and it ranges from a huge spectrum of things. We are very active in trying to enhance the connectivity and the infrastructure required for better connectivity, not only in Kenya but across the continent as a whole,” disclosed Sir Nick.

He also disclosed that Meta is nearing completion of a major subsea cable infrastructure project in Africa, which will improve connectivity. 

Meta will also launch monetisation tools for creators on Facebook and Instagram in Kenya.

Dr Grace Githaiga moderating a session with Meta’s Global Affairs President, Nick Clegg-

AI integration

Sir Nick emphasised the importance of open-source AI, particularly for developing regions. 

He presented their open-source large language model, “LLM,” as an example, which allows developers to leverage AI for various applications without massive resources. 

According to Sir Nick, this fosters innovation in the digital economy by enabling entrepreneurs and researchers to build upon existing AI tools.


Sir Nick Clegg advises against overregulating technology itself. Instead, he suggests regulating its impact, such as online safety and user rights.

“I think it’ll be quite important for an open entrepreneurial economy like Kenya not to produce regulation that tries to reinvent the wheel. There’s just so much recent regulation to learn from. It shouldn’t be tailored for Kenyans and Kenyan society; it should reflect Kenyan values,” he emphasised.

“My view is that the Northstar you (Kenya) should keep in mind is not to try to regulate the technology itself but the kind of output or the effects of the technology that you’re trying to either encourage or inhibit.”

He predicts a future where AI powers feature like automated ad creation, personalised online assistants, and highly customised user experiences.

Kenya’s fintech landscape

Ali Hussein Kassim, Chairman of KICTANet, discussed the Kenyan FinTech ecosystem and the country’s overall digital innovation environment.

He noted that Kenya has emerged as a frontrunner in African FinTech, and the thought leadership series delved into this dynamic ecosystem’s role in driving financial inclusion. 

KICTANet and the Association of Fintechs in Kenya are updating the Kenya FinTech Policy Guide Note 2024; the call for collaboration echoes across the ecosystem.

The first policy brief, “Towards an Inclusive and Sustainable Fintech Ecosystem in Kenya“, was published in 2019. 

 The Policy Guidance Note focused on Kenya’s rapidly growing Fintech industry to create a framework promoting responsible growth of the country’s thriving Fintech sector.


The discussion also included audience questions. One inquiry focused on integrating Facebook with mobile money platforms like MPESA to streamline online transactions. Another addressed how African countries should regulate AI to promote innovation while safeguarding user rights and safety.

The Thought Leadership Series conversation underscored the potential of open-source AI to empower Africa’s development. 

Responsible AI integration by platforms like Facebook is crucial to ensure a positive impact on the digital economy while prioritising user rights and safety.

Additional edits by David Indeje


Neema Mujesia information

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