Nigeria and other African countries will save about $5 billion annually through the adoption and use of the pan-African payment and settlement platform which will be introduced in 2022.
This was disclosed by the Secretary General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, Wamkele Mene on Tuesday in Abuja while interacting with journalists.
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Mene said the platform is being developed to address the challenges posed by an absence of a single African currency for intra-continental trade.
He said the platform, to be piloted by six African countries, is being supported by the African Import Export Bank (AFREXIMBank) to deepen intra-African trade.
“We won’t have a common currency overnight, but the Pan-African payment and settlement platform can address some of the issues,” he said.
The trade expert said it was impossible for African countries to boost intra-African trade with 42 existing currencies, hence the need for the payment platform.
He said currency and other barriers have resulted in Africa trading more with European countries than with sister African countries.
He said the implementation of the AfCFTA would ensure that Africans trade more within the continent to boost the continent’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).