Ecobank Nigeria’s new Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) is a critical enabler for intra-African trade.
Managing Director/Regional Executive, Patrick Akinwuntan, who spoke on the launch on AriseTV, emphasised that the new payment will operate as a backbone through which African countries are to actualise transactions done within the free trade area.
He added 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 explained.
Akinwuntan said, “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.
Also speaking at the event, PAPSS’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Mike Ogbalu, said that the payment system was not built to contend with or replace existing payment systems. He added it would facilitate the connectivity level that brings all payments systems together into one network that was interoperable, efficient and affordable.
“PAPSS is designed to make our currencies regain value to domesticate intra-Africa payments in this journey toward African prosperity. This is done while providing the superhighway which connects others to reach every part of this continent as we seek to create the Africa that we want.”