The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), in collaboration with the AfCFTA on Tuesday in Accra launched the Africa Trade Gateway (ATG), a suite of five digital platforms that have been designed as a single window to enable the Bank better deliver on its mandate by providing critical services to support and promote African trade and the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Launched by Kanayo Awani, executive Vice President, Intra-African Trade Bank, of Afreximbank on the sidelines of the ongoing 30th Afreximbank Annual Meetings (AAM2023), in the presence of Ernest Addison, governor-Bank of Ghana and Emily Mburu-Ndoria, director-directorate of Trade in Services, Investment, IPR and Digital Trade, AfCFTA who represented Wamkele Mene, Secretary General, AfCFTA, the gateway digital ecosystem comprises the MANSA (due diligence platform), the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS), the TRADAR Club, the Africa Trade Exchange (ATEX) and ATG Connect.
Addressing guests at the launch, Awani said that Afreximbank’s digital evolution was part of its deliberate strategic response to address Africa’s key challenges to accelerate the pace of development and foster economic prosperity for Africans using and applying digital technologies and business models.
“Each one of our digital interventions is designed to address clearly identified challenges and barriers for those seeking to engage in African trade and investment. I am pleased that each intervention has been successfully transformed from concept to reality and commend the hard work of our colleagues and partners in achieving these milestones. But to consolidate results, maximize net effects, achieve greater efficiencies, drive higher synergistic value, quicken regional integration, extend and create new access markets and accelerate digital economy in Africa, the Bank is introducing customer-centric Africa Trade Gateway.”
She described ATG as the gateway into a definitive digital ecosystem made for Africa’s trade, supported by Afreximbank and the AfCFTA in collaboration with their partners, to answer the needs of businesses, governments and stakeholders by enabling trade, commerce and investment.
With the ATG, customers could complete all their transactions within one window, explained Ms. Awani.
MANSA, Africa’s due diligence platform, provides a single source of primary data required for the conduct of customer due diligence on African entities, financial institutions, corporates and SMEs. It also provides complementary collection of information on investment in Africa, country profiles and traded products/services of African countries.
PAPSS was established to enable efficient payment for intra-African trade in national currencies, promoting intra-African trade, minimising risk and contributing to financial integration across Africa. In July 2019, African Union heads of state meeting in Niamey, adopted PAPSS as the payment and settlement system to support the implementation of the AfCFTA. It currently operates out of Cairo.
TRADAR Club, is member-driven network aimed at empowering international businesses and executives to transform trade and investments in Africa through trusted trade intelligence and advisory services through innovative digital tools and networking opportunities, helping members to discover new markets; grow their business; save time; access dedicated expert support; post and respond to new business opportunities; network; meet business/trading partners, etc. Membership is open to global industry leaders, African and foreign businesses, intergovernmental organisations, policy makers and others committed to unlocking growth and development in Africa.
ATEX is a B2B and B2G e-commerce platform launched at the 54th Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development in Dakar in May 2022, to help small and medium scale and large African businesses to tap into new markets in Africa and to facilitate the optimisation of their supply chains. It enables procurement in bulk for basic commodities to ensure access to suppliers in a transparent manner.
ATG Connect serves to connect business service providers across Africa. It provides freight and logistics connectivity solutions which allow for frictionless connecting and matching of freight/ logistics requests with freight and logistics providers listed on the platform. Customers can get quotes for the pickup and delivery of goods to and from any location in Africa at a very competitive price.
The launch ceremony included presentations on the services available under the various digital platforms and a panel discussion by the heads of the platforms during which they discussed the services they offered in support of trade across Africa and the implementation of the AfCFTA.