LAGOS – The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is working to introduce a mobile payment platform to support intra-African trade and payments, Jean-Louis Ekra, President of the bank, said on Wednesday.
Ekra was quoted in a statement by the bank in Lagos, as making the assertion at the opening of Afreximbank’s annual Seminar/Workshop on the Fundamentals of Structured Trade Finance, in Lusaka, Zambia.
Ekra said the successful introduction of the initiative would bring over 50 billion dollars of informal regional trade which currently takes place on the continent in the formal sector.
The statement said the platform would be of benefits to governments, businesses and trade financiers.
It said that Afreximbank was working with Econet Wireless Group to develop and introduce the platform.
It stressed that the mobile technology had become one of the most important instruments for the conduct of financial transactions in Africa and globally.
The statement added that the platform had been seen by trade practitioners as a potential instrument for supporting cross-border trade and financial flows.
It said the Structured Trade Finance Seminar/Workshop and other events organised by the bank were its way of contributing to addressing the trade and project finance challenges facing Africa.
The statement also said that Dr Michael Gondwe, Governor of the Bank of Zambia declared the workshop open.
It quoted Gondwe as saying that as Africa strove to position itself as an economic powerhouse, it must invest in appropriate technical knowledge and skills to support its current economic growth renaissance.
Noting the central role of trade and development in Africa’s economic revival, it said that banks had an important role to play in fostering cross-border trade.
“This is why Africa needs to have a breed of banks with the right knowledge and skills to support African traders in their cross-border transactions,” the statement said.
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is the foremost Pan-African multilateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting intra- and extra-African trade.
The Bank was established in October 1993 by African governments, African private and institutional investors and non-African investors.
Its two basic constitutive documents are the Establishment Agreement, which gives it the status of an international organisation and the Charter, which governs its corporate structure and operations.
Since 1994, Afreximbank has approved almost 30 billion dollars in credit facilities for African businesses, including about 3.5 billion dollars in 2013.
Afreximbank is headquartered in Cairo. (NAN)