The Chairman and CEO of Oakwood Green Africa, Mr. Gabriel Edgal, has emphasized the transformative impact of Afreximbank’s digital platforms, including the MANSA and Pan-Africa Payment and Settlement Systems (PAPSS) platforms, on Ghana’s economic development and participation in intra-African trade.
Speaking at a side event during the launch of the Africa Trade Gateway as part of Afreximbank’s Annual Meetings 2023 (AAM2023) at the Accra International Conference Centre on June 20, Mr. Edgal highlighted the significance of these platforms in unlocking Africa’s trade potential.
Mr. Edgal emphasized the convenience and benefits of the MANSA platform, which serves as a single source of primary data for Customer Due Diligence (CDD) and Know Your Customer (KYC) checks on African entities, including financial institutions, corporates, and SMEs. By leveraging MANSA, businesses onboarded onto the platform can conveniently trade with their African customers, suppliers, and partners without the need for additional due diligence.
This streamlined process will provide a significant boost to businesses and greatly contribute to the economy by eliminating long-standing bottlenecks that have hindered intra-Africa trade.
“The MANSA Platform for instance will give a boost to businesses and help the economy significantly, as some bottlenecks that have bedeviled intra-Africa trade for so long will be eliminated with these platforms. We need to start asking ourselves questions as Africans such as; ‘How is it that trade with my neighbour just across the border has to be so painstakingly difficult?’… ‘Why can I not benefit from the large markets for my products that Africa provides?’… ‘Why is my focus only on international trade, imports that leaves us as consuming nations instead of producing nations? It is time to think Africa, and trade among ourselves.”
On PAPSS, Mr. Edgal emphasized the importance of the platform, and what it will likely mean for Ghana’s development “Through initiatives like PAPSS, businesses in Ghana, for instance, can trade with their counterparts anywhere in Africa without having to convert their local currencies to the dollar. If payments are being made in local currency, it means demand for foreign currency will reduce, and once the demand for the dollar reduces, it means exchange rates will drop and the African currencies will strengthen. It means importation of our inputs will now be cheaper, it means imported inflation will not be possible, as the local currencies will be more resilient due to increased demand as a result of local currency trading. Imagine the effect on our economies.”
The event witnessed the presence of key players within Ghana’s business sector and other West African countries. The session was marked by meaningful interactions and enthusiasm for Afreximbank’s support for businesses on the continent. Notable speakers at the event included Dr. Ernest Addison, Governor of the Central Bank of Ghana, Mrs. Kanayo Awani, Executive Vice President of Intra-African Trade Bank at Afreximbank, Maureen Mba, Head of MANSA Digital Initiative, Mr. Mike Ogbalu, CEO of PAPSS, Niama El Bassunie, CEO of WaysToCap and Operator of Africa Trade Exchange (ATEX), Lizanne Case, Head of TRADAR, Cynthia Gnassingbe, Senior Advisor for Private Sector Engagements at AfCFTA, Mr. Daniel McKorley, Chairman of McDan Group, and Mr. Daniel Addo, CEO of Consolidated Bank Ghana.
The event showcased the significance of the Africa trade digital platforms in driving Ghana’s economic development. Mr. Gabriel Edgal, alongside other distinguished speakers, highlighted the opportunities and benefits these platforms bring to intra-Africa trade. As Ghana and other African nations embrace these transformative initiatives, they are set to unleash the full potential of trade within the continent, foster economic growth, and contribute to the journey of building prosperity for Africans.