Sierra Leone becomes the second country in Africa to launch the Sandbox Framework to test FinTech innovations

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Tenzin Keyzom Ngodup

Technical Specialist

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After Kenya, Sierra Leone is the second African country to launch a Sandbox Framework to support live testing of innovation. With support from the MM4P programme of the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSDA), the Bank of Sierra Leone is inviting financial technology (FinTech) companies to apply.

As part of this process, the Regulatory Sandbox pilot programme is intended to enable innovative FinTech product, services and solutions to be deployed and tested in a live environment prior to launch into the marketplace, within specified parameters and timeframes. Equally important, the Sandbox will facilitate the central bank’s understanding of emerging technologies and support evidence-based approaches to regulation that advance the goals of financial inclusion, financial stability and integrity, as well as consumer protection.

Ultimately, the Sandbox is intended to foster responsible innovation that benefits consumers in Sierra Leone by improving the quality of and access to financial products and services.

The UNCDF MM4P regulatory support is part of the Sierra Leone FinTech Initiative. The Sierra Leone FinTech Initiative, led by the Bank of Sierra Leone in partnership with UNCDF MM4P with support from USAID and the Last Mile Trust Fund and FSD Africa is a unique programme that encourages and catalyzes the development of FinTech solutions that are useful and highly relevant to the people and businesses of Sierra Leone. The aim is to foster collaboration between regulators, non-traditional market players, licensed financial institutions and other partners to pilot innovative products, services or solutions in a fragile state context.

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