The African Import-Export Bank (Afreximbank) today officially launched in Cairo the operations of “MANSA”, a pan-African due diligence repository for financial institutions, companies and SMEs, developed to address perceived risk to do business in Africa and with Africans. MANSA is a single source of primary data required for Customer Due Diligence (CDD) and Know Your Customer (KYC) checks on African entities, including financial institutions, businesses and SMEs, in accordance with best practices.
The platform will also serve to address key trade-related challenges facing the continent, including the lack of market information, the high cost of doing business in Africa, and the discovery of African counterparts. The launch of MANSA operations was announced at a virtual event organized by Afreximbank in the form of a roundtable discussion involving Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank; Ade Ayeyemi, CEO of Ecobank Group; Stefan Nalletamby, Director – Financial Sector Development Department at the African Development Bank; Dr. Naglaa Nozahie, Advisor to the Governor, African Affairs, Central Bank of Egypt and Eng. Mansur Ahmed, President, Nigeria Manufacturers Association.
Speaking at the event, Prof Benedict Oramah said: “Globally, regulators are toughening their stance as well as the severity of their penalties for non-compliance with due diligence compliance rules established to prevent various financial crimes and related activities. This has dramatically increased the cost and complexity of meeting the Due Diligence and Know Your Customer requirements. We created MANSA as a solution to the negative impact on Africa, such as reducing risk, removing correspondent banking relationships, and reducing trade finance and investment financial flows to Africa. In a fragmented continent of 55 countries that have barely traded with each other since becoming colonies, MANSA offers an opportunity to start lowering borders and supporting the achievement of the objectives of the Continental Free Trade Agreement. African (ZLECAf). The platform is named after Mansa Musa, the emperor of the Malian Empire in the 1300s, who was responsible for opening up trade across Africa and who would be the only person to control the flow of or between Africa and the Mediterranean. In this initial phase of implementation, MANSA is now open to African companies to integrate their company profiles into the repository. Following an integration and validation process in accordance with the Platform’s compliance requirements, African entities will see their profiles listed and made available to users of the repository ”.