Fintech’s Secret Ingredient for Improving Supply Chains & Trade under AfCFTA

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Follow along as This panel discussion at the Africa Fintech Summit focused on the role of fintech in improving supply chains and trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The panelists, who are key players in different sectors, provided their insights on the current challenges and opportunities presented by the AfCFTA. Here are the key takeaways from the discussion:

Potential of AfCFTA: Panelists acknowledged the immense potential of AfCFTA in transforming intra-African trade. They noted that while the agreement is in place, significant work remains to actualize its potential, considering the diverse economic landscapes across African countries.

Challenges in Implementation: There was a consensus on the challenges faced in implementing AfCFTA, particularly in harmonizing local policies with AfCFTA requirements and dealing with different currencies and economic policies across African countries.

Role of Fintech: Fintech is seen as a critical facilitator in the AfCFTA landscape, especially in managing cross-border payments and mitigating currency risks. The discussion highlighted the importance of regulated fintech partnerships and advanced forecasting in managing multicurrency trade.

Innovation and Infrastructure: Innovations in the financial sector, such as stable coins and mobile payment platforms, are driving changes in how Africa trades. The importance of infrastructural development, including logistical infrastructure and technological advancements, was emphasized for facilitating trade and movement.

E-commerce and Cargo Services: Ethiopian Airlines shared their initiatives in supporting e-commerce and cargo services across Africa, highlighting the importance of efficient air transport in boosting intra-African trade.

Future Outlook: The panelists expressed optimism about the future of intra-African trade, expecting growth and more opportunities as barriers are reduced. However, there was also a realistic acknowledgment of short-term challenges due to global and local economic pressures.

Action and Collaboration: A key message was the need for action beyond discussions to realize the full potential of AfCFTA. Collaboration among fintech companies, governments, and other stakeholders was highlighted as crucial for driving effective intra-African trade.

In summary, the panelists agreed that while AfCFTA presents significant opportunities for transforming intra-African trade, realizing its full potential requires overcoming existing challenges through innovation, collaboration, and effective implementation of policies and infrastructure.

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