Five powerhouse African banks - Access Bank, Ecobank, KCB, Standard Bank, and UBA - are aligning their operations with the Pan African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS), a game-changing initiative by Afrexim Bank.
PAPSS, a centralized payment solution, empowers these banks to process cross-border transactions in their local currencies, fostering seamless trade payments across the nearly 40 countries covered by these five banks and supports trade under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area.
Adding to this momentum, Kenya is stepping forward with plans to abolish Visa requirements for African citizens traveling for business, a significant move towards enhancing trade dynamics and unity in the continent. Furthermore, talks are in progress between Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and several others to liberalize air transport, paving the way for a single, integrated air transport market in Africa.
Currently, intra-African trade stands at a mere 12.5%, a stark contrast to figures from Asia (58.5%), North America (30.4%), and Europe (68.5%) according to the UN Conference Trade And Development Handbook of Statistics 2022. However, with burgeoning digital connectivity and regional integration, Africa's digital economy is poised to scale up to an impressive $180 billion by 2025, as per a report by Google and IFC.