The president of the African Import-Export Bank (Afreximbank), Benedict Oramah, revealed this Thursday, January 13 in Accra (Ghana) that his institution intends to forge relations with at least 500 African banks by providing them with lines of nearly $ 8 billion to facilitate commercial transactions with the Papss (Pan-African Payment and Settlement System), the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System.
“This will represent the largest banking relationship ever forged by a financial institution on the continent. Currently, the bank has integrated more than 480 banks ”, he noted at the official launch of the new instrument. Adding that the current payment terms cost the continent around US $ 5 billion per year, and intraregional payments take 2 to 14 days. Hence the low level of intra-African trade.
“Payment infrastructures have been around for some time at the national and sub-regional levels. However, these systems lack interoperability. Fragmented national and regional payment systems cannot boost Pan-African economic development and intra-African trade. While these have got off to a good start, it is essential that we now integrate all of Africa financially, ”said Papss President Mike Ogbalu.
For the Secretary General of the Continental Free Trade Area (Zlecaf), Wamkele Mene, the launch of the Papss and the implementation of the Zlecaf will also benefit SMEs, young entrepreneurs and those who do cross-border trade in Africa. . Adding that the number of states parties that have ratified the agreement and filed for rights rose from 35 (64%) in December 2020 to 39 (73%) at the end of last year.