By Asmau Ahmad
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in collaboration with the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) inaugurated the Africa Trade Gateway (ATG).
A statement issued by BrandComms Agency in Abuja on Wednesday said the ATG was inaugurated on the sidelines of the ongoing 30th Afreximbank Annual Meetings in Accra.
The statement said the ATG is a suite of five digital platforms designed as a single window to enable the bank to better deliver on its mandate.
It said this would be done by providing critical services to support and promote African trade and the implementation of the AfCFTA.
“The gateway digital ecosystem comprises the MANSA (due diligence platform), the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS), the TRADAR Club, the Africa Trade Exchange (ATEX), and ATG Connect.”
The statement said the ATG was inaugurated by Ms Kanayo Awani, Executive Vice-President, Intra-African Trade Bank, Afreximbank.
It said Awani was quoted as saying:” Afreximbank’s digital evolution is part of its deliberate strategic response to address Africa’s key challenges.
“Also, to accelerate the pace of development and foster economic prosperity for Africans using and applying digital technologies and business models.
“Each one of our digital interventions is designed to address clearly identified challenges and barriers for those seeking to engage in African trade and investment.
“I am pleased that each intervention has been successfully transformed from concept to reality and I commend the hard work of our colleagues and partners in achieving these milestones.”
Ms Awani, however, said the bank was introducing a customer-centric ATG to consolidate results, maximise net effects, achieve greater efficiencies, and drive higher synergistic value.
She said the ATG would also quicken regional integration, extend and create new access markets and accelerate the digital economy in Africa.
Awani described ATG as the gateway into a definitive digital ecosystem made for Africa’s trade, supported by Afreximbank and the AfCFTA in collaboration with their partners.
“The ATG will answer the needs of businesses, governments, and stakeholders by enabling trade, commerce and investment.
“With the ATG, customers could complete all their transactions within one window.”
The statement said MANSA, Africa’s due diligence platform, provided a single source of primary data required for the conduct of customer due diligence on African entities, financial institutions, corporates, and SMEs.
It said MANSA provided a complementary collection of information on investment in Africa, country profiles, and traded products/services of African countries.
The statement said PAPSS was established to enable efficient payment for intra-African trade in national currencies, promoting intra-African trade, minimising risk, and contributing to financial integration across Africa.
“In July 2019, the African Union Heads of State meeting in Niamey, adopted PAPSS as the payment and settlement system to support the implementation of the AfCFTA. It currently operates out of Cairo.”
It said TRADAR Club was a member-driven network aimed at empowering international businesses and executives to transform trade and investments in Africa through trusted trade intelligence and advisory services.
“This will be done through innovative digital tools and networking opportunities, helping members to discover new markets; grow their business; save time; access dedicated expert support, etc.”
The statement said ATEX is a B2B and B2G e-commerce platform launched at the 54th Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development in Dakar in May 2022.
It said ATEX helped small and medium scale and large African businesses to tap into new markets in Africa and to facilitate the optimisation of their supply chains.
“It enables procurement in bulk for basic commodities to ensure access to suppliers in a transparent manner.”
The statement said ATG Connect served to connect business service providers across Africa.
“It provides freight and logistics connectivity solutions which allow for frictionless connecting and matching of freight/ logistics requests with freight and logistics providers listed on the platform.”
“Customers can get quotes for the pickup and delivery of goods to and from any location in Africa at a very competitive price.”
The statement said the inauguration included presentations on the services available under the various digital platforms and a panel discussion by the heads of the platforms.