Ecobank canvasses standards, good governance to drive intra-Africa trade

Ecobank The Group Chairman, Ecobank Transnational Inc., Emmanuel Ikazoboh, has urged Nigerians to ensure their products meet global standards.

He explained that good products and services that meet international standards coupled with good corporate governance and trust are major factors that drive smooth intra-Africa trade.

He said businesses in Africa would grow only if there is trust, noting that one of Africa’s problems is that some businesses started well and when prosperity begins to set in, standards fall amid inadequate corporate governance.

Ikazoboh said this during the official launch of an investment forum,‘Traders of Africa (TOFA)’, a pan-African online market place for products manufactured in Africa only, and African Trade Invest (ATI).

Speaking on the investment platforms, he stressed that if sustained by maintaining standards and quality, it would position Africa on its right place.

He added: “One problem of Africa is quality of product. Let’s not do the shortcut. Let us try as much as possible to keep global standards, and I can assure you that businesses in Africa will grow and compete favourably with the international community.”

Providing insight into the initiative, Founder/Chief Executive Officer of TOFA and ATI, Uju Ozo-Ojinnaka, said the aim of the platform is to create a safe and reliable environment for making investors and genuine African businesses successful while creating wealth for all stakeholders by facilitating African trade.

Prior to the initial launch in 2017, Ozo-Ojinnaka hinted that ATI has funded transactions in excess of $1million and paid out returns in excess of $860,000 in the last quarter.

During the launch, the investment app, which would make it easy for members of the public to invest in trade transactions in Africa by purchasing units of available projects offered by the company, was unveiled.

She explained: “Upon project verification, these funding needs are broken down into units, and the units are offered to members of the public to invest.

“Presently, investment in naira or USD can earn a Share of Profit (SOP) as high as 7.5% quarterly in naira investments and 5% quarterly on dollar investments which amount to 30% and 20% respectively annually.”Speaking on how the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), will increase the level of trade in the continent, Ozo-Ojinnaka pointed out that African countries normally incur enormous losses due to difficulties in intra-trade.

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