BusinessDay

What Africa will gain as continent’s payment system debuts

Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS), a financial market infrastructure to enable instant, cross-border payments in local currencies between African markets, will be officially launched this Thursday in Ghana.

PAPSS will serve as a continent-wide platform for the processing, clearing and settling of intra-African trade and commerce payments, leveraging a multilateral net settlement system.

Its full implementation is expected to save the continent more than $5 billion in payment transaction cost each year.

By simplifying cross-border transactions and reducing the dependency on hard currencies for these transactions, PAPSS is set to boost intra-African trade significantly and underpin the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

“With the implementation of PAPSS, Africa can expect to begin to reap the fruits of the AfCFTA agreement. Afreximbank is proud to have contributed in the realisation of the multi-decade dream that seemed unachievable just a few years ago,” Benedict Oramah, president/chairman of the Board of Directors, Afreximbank, says.

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Oramah, Godwin Emefiele, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN)/chairman, PAPSS Governing Council, Aliko Dangote, CEO, Dangote Group, are among the dignitaries that would speak at the official launch of PAPSS this week.

Also expected at the launch are Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana, Wamkele Mene, secretary-general, AfCFTA Secretariat, and Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson, African Union Commission, among others.

They will provide insight into the transformational impact of PAPSS in eliminating intra-African financial borders, connecting African markets to each other, enabling local currencies to be used, alleviating the need for offshore clearance and settlement of payments.

Also, PAPSS will facilitate and help drive the enormous growth in intra-African trade resulting from the AfCFTA’s creation of a single market throughout Africa.

It will facilitate the payment, clearing and settlement system for intra-African trade; simplify intra-regional transactions, and reduce the cost, duration and time variability of cross-border payments.

There will be a press conference on Friday, January 14, to announce the opening of registrations for the Intra-African Trade Fair 2023 (IATF2023), which is to be held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

According to a notice from Afreximbank, in addition, the conference will provide commentary on the $42.1 billion of trade and investment deals concluded at IATF2021. Speakers will include Olusegun Obasanjo, former president of Nigeria and chair of the IATF Advisory Council; Oramah, Albert Muchanga, African Union Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Industry and Mining; Mene, Kanayo Awani, managing director, Intra-African Trade Initiative, Afreximbank, and Silver Ojakol, chief of staff, AfCFTA Secretariat.

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