Ecobank Nigeria’s new Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) is a critical enabler for intra-African trade, its Managing Director/Regional Executive, Patrick Akinwuntan, has said.
Akinwuntan, who spoke on the launch on Arise TV , emphasised that the new payment will serve as a backbone through which African countries are to actualise transactions done within the free trade area, adding that it will also create employment, wealth, and deliver values to exporters on the continent.
“This common payment platform will enable Africa to move intra trade from the current 16 per cent, representing $70 billion to the range of 50-55 per cent in the next two to three years. This is huge because we could be talking about $300 billion intra African trade close to 15 per cent of Africa Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Besides, PAPSS will also eliminate payment delays, third party currencies as well as benefit households, small businesses, and financial institutions. This is positive developments for intra Africa trade. It is a step in the right direction. It will promote cross border trade for African exporters, liberalise payments and will deliver payment that delivers value. Africa is here for real business. Africa is ready. Let’s go for it,” he said.
Akinwuntan added: “Ecobank is a supporter of this initiative. Today, we can reach up to 35 countries because we already have a Pan African switch, and we are already connected to PAPSS.
“I call for collaboration of stakeholders to achieve the desired objectives. “We have the key industry sectors that deals on Pan African trade. We need to go through with them, helping them to see the practical possibilities. We have a responsibility to take this message to them that if they want to do any transaction across Africa, they don’t need to look for an international bank. PAPSS will work the same way NIBSS works in Nigeria.”
PAPSS, developed by Afreximbank, is expected to boost intra-African trade by transforming and facilitating payment, clearing and settlement for cross-border trade across Africa.
At the launch, Prof. Benedict Oramah, the President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, said “we are eager to build upon AfCFTA’s creation of a single market throughout Africa. PAPSS provides the state-of-the-art financial market infrastructure connecting African markets to each other, thereby, enabling instant cross-border payments in respective local African currencies for cross-border trade.
“Afreximbank as the main settlement agent for PAPSS, provides settlement guarantees on the payment system […]