I’ve finished what amounts to a fintech world tour of talks and research-Ethiopia, Benin, Brussels, Bogota, Brazilia, Washington and New York-and learned some lessons along the way:  1) Too often, financial inclusion is conflated as capital access, and vice versa.  The former is much broader, and includes access to those financial services, from insurance to banking, widely considered essential for economic security. 2) China’s lead in Africa is probably insurmountable, but they risk their geopolitical gains if they don’t execute (see pic of materials left at what I was told was a deserted road project in Lalibela, Ethiopia).  Debt and repayment may just be the simplest of their problems.  And finally, 3) If you’re not paying for an online service, it’s because you’re the the product.

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