The Tanzania Times
Eastern Africa News Network

Businesses in Africa lose USD 5 Billion in Currency Conversions

Businesses in Africa lose over USD 5 Billion in currency conversion during transactions on the continent.

That is among the findings from the webinar on intra-African trade and investment hosted by the African Export-Import Bank in conjunction with the East African Business Council.

The conversations were addressing key challenges confronting African businesses when approaching intra-African trade.

Participants recognize that 80 percent of Africa’s small businesses still have no access to trade finance.

Afreximbank used the webinar to describe the innovative products offered by the Bank to boost access to finance and cross-border payments under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Dr Gainmore Zanamwe, Head, Intra-African Trade Bank, Afreximbank, lauded public-private partnerships in East Africa, calling upon this model of co-operation to be replicated across the continent.

Zanamwe suggests that a combination of industrialization and the development of regional value chains – as well as a reduced dependence on commodities – would create quality jobs and accelerate economic interaction between African businesses.

Financial Technology to the rescue?

On his part, the EABC Chairperson Emeritus Dr Vimal Shah says there is vital importance of integrating Financial Technologies into Pan-African Payment and Settlement Systems (PAPPS), to ease the process and reduce the cost of doing business transactions across Africa.

The recently launched EABC-Africa Trade and Investment Council (EATIC), a brainchild of both Afreximbank and the East African Business Council was cited as a key driver of opportunities generated by the AfCFTA, creating intelligence on markets and investment opportunities across the continent.

On his part, EABC Vice Chair and EATIC Focal Person, Dennis Karera, called for the structured engagement for private sector with the AfCFTA Secretariat in Ghana through Regional Business Councils.

The webinar was addressed by prominent leaders in Pan-African trade development, including John Bosco Kalisa, the EABC Chief Executive Officer and John Bosco Sebabi, the Deputy Head of Pan-African Payment and Settlement System.

There was also Emily Mburu-Ndoria, the Director of Trade-in-Services, Investment, Intellectual Property Rights and Digital Trade, at the AfCFTA Secretariat.

Others Lizanne Case, Senior Manager of Trade Intelligence Solutions, and Matimba Changala, Manager, Intra-African Trade Bank.

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote intra-and extra-African trade.

It deploys innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that support the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby boosting economic expansion in Africa. 

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