Wamkele Mene, Secretary- General, African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has charged businesses in Africa to encourage banks and payment service providers to use the Pan African Payments and Settlement System (PAPSS) platform.
Speaking at the Zimbabwe-Ghana Business Forum in Accra organized by ZimTrade – the National trade development and promotion organization of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Mene said, PAPSS seeks to enhance intra-Africa trade by significantly enhancing processing speed, clearing and settling of intra-African trade and payments through effective collaboration of multilateral net settlement systems; hence the need for players within the payment systems to embrace the platform.
“We have to encourage our banking community to use the Pan African Payments and Settlement System. We have to encourage our regulators – mobile technology regulators – to enable cross-border payments on mobile technology, mobile banking technology, so that on your phone you can transact with somebody in Togo. This will require our regulators to adopt the framework that we have established for ease of payments to ensure we boost intra-African trade.”Wamkele Mene
Moreover, Mene added that ensuring currency compatibility among African countries is crucial to developing safe trade and boosting trade among African countries.
While stressing on the importance of a common payment platform for boosting intra-African trade, the AfCFTA Secretary-General said the continent loses about US$5billion due to challenges regarding payment between African countries that engage in trade, thus, added that being the reason for developing PAPSS; to eliminate the cost involved in converting currencies.
The forum sought to create an avenue for companies in various sectors of Zimbabwe’s economy to establish partnerships with their Ghanaian counterparts. About 15 representatives from businesses from major sectors in the Zimbabwean economy attended the event.
AfCFTA presents various opportunities through the elimination or reduction of barriers to intra-African trade, and encourages Africa’s self-sufficiency, Mene further noted. Speaking at the Forum, the Export Promotion Manager at ZimTrade, Vuyiswa Mafu opined:
“We expect linkages, collaborations and business deals and negotiations to happen out of the B2B meetings that we have organized. We have arranged for the delegation from Zimbabwe to meet with their counterparts in Ghana to discuss business opportunities.”Vuyiswa Mafu
Ghanaian businesses encouraged to explore opportunities in Zimbabwe
Mafu indicated that enabling businesses from the two countries to explore mutually beneficial opportunities under the AfCFTA, was ZimTrade’s ulterior motive for organizing the Forum, hence, threw an invitation to the Ghanaian business community to visit Zimbabwe and also explore opportunities there.
On his part, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Former Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Afriyie Akoto, applauded ZimTrade for the initiative, and said it presented another opportunity for both countries to find lasting solutions to business sustainability and growth impediments.
“Let me take this opportunity to commend ZimTrade for taking this step to come into the Ghanaian market. Let me assure all that there is a real need for such an event to bring business people together to promote trade between our countries to achieve the needed level of benefit for us all.”Dr. Afriyie Akoto
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