African countries need regional integration to manage external shocks

African countries have to work actively together to drive regional integration and minimize the adverse impact of external shocks like the Russia-Ukraine war, Peter Olowononi, head, of client relations, Anglophone West Africa at the African Export-Import bank has said.

Speaking at the BusinessDay CEO Forum Thursday, Olowononi said “The Russia-Ukraine war caused massive depreciation in foreign exchange and we have been trying to ensure Africa insulates itself a bit more,” Olowononi said.

He explained that, “in all of these there must be free movement of people and goods. “With the barriers to movement we saw we needed to break the barriers of flow of goods and services.

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“Infrastructure has to play a key role, we created an Africa Trade Export platform. Once the trade occur, through a payment platform we see the trade happen with externalities diminishing,” Olowononi stated.

“We put in place a transit guarantee, which is developed to get through to the final destination without any stop at any border point and it is working very well,” he said.

“We believe as more countries and more banks sign up, the net settlement will begin to shrink. It has reduced the demand of FX from both sides and net settlement will be taken care of.”

“In a matter of time, Africa can become more integrated. We are beginning to see integration, Nigeria doing more with itself,” he said.

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