A panel data analysis of nonlinear financial growth dynamics in a macroprudential policy regime was conducted on a panel of 10 African emerging countries from 1985–2021, where there had been a non-prudential regime from 1985–1999 and a prudential regime from 2000–2021. The paper explored the validity of the inverted U-shape hypothesis in the prudential policy regime as well as the threshold level at which excessive finance boosts growth using the Bayesian Spatial Lag Panel Smooth Transition Regression (BSPSTR) model. The BSPSTR model was adopted due to its ability to address the problems of endogeneity and heterogeneity in a nonlinear framework. Moreover, as the transition variable often varies across time and space, the effect of the independent variables can also be time- and space-varying. The results reveal evidence of a nonlinear effect between finance and growth, where the optimal level of financial development is found to be 92% of GDP, above which financial development decreases growth. The findings confirmed the Greenwood and Jovanovic hypothesis of an inverted U-shape relationship. Macroprudential policies were found to trigger the finance–growth relationship. The policy recommendation is that the financial sector should be given adequate consideration and recognition by, for example, implementing appropriate financial reforms, developing a suitable investment portfolio, and keeping spending on technological investment in Africa's emerging countries below the threshold. Again, caution is needed when introducing macroprudential policies at a low level of the financial system.