EAC SMEs to reap fortunes from digital platform

EAC SMEs to reap fortunes from digital platform

THE East African Business Council (EABC) has joined forces with Afrieximbank in rolling out the African Customer Due Diligence Platform.

Such a partnership is set to boost East African companies and Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to take advantage of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) through accessing a centralised source of due diligence information.

Also known as the Mansa digital, the  platform will provide a  single primary source of Know-Your-Customer (KYC) data required to conduct customer due diligence checks on counterparties in Africa with a special focus on African Corporates, SMEs and financial institutions.

Speaking at the virtual launch ceremony of the Africa Customer Due Diligence Platform last week, EABC Chief Executive Officer John Bosco Kalisa was upbeat that the platform will enable African financial institutions and corporate entities to meet customer and business partners’ expectations while ensuring regulatory compliance.

“The platform will provide critical information for credit assessments geared to promote financial inclusion,” he said.

According to Mr Kalisa, the EAC region was the fastest economic bloc on the continent, accounting approximately 16 per cent of Africa’s Gross Domestic Product.

Mr Kalisa was further optimistic that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will boost investment and consumer to 4 trillion US dollars, generate jobs, strengthen value chains, industrialisation and SMEs expansion.

“The Mansa digital platform is set to facilitate smooth onboarding of customers and business relationships as well as ensure availability of due diligence information plus mitigate perceived risk of trading with African counterparties,” added the EABC boss.

Maureen Mba, Head of Mansa Business, Afreximbank described the platform as a game changer for intra-Africa trade.

Ms Mba emphasized that the Mansa platform enables SMEs to diversify and find new partners to scale up their industries across the continent.

The Mansa digital platform is also expected to reduce risks to intra-African trade such as increased financial crime and high-cost acquisition of Customer Due Diligence.

Through EABC, companies can subscribe to the Mansa digital platform free of charge, this is set to reposition the EAC bloc to tap into the AfCFTA market of 1.3 billion consumers.

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Author: EDWARD QORRO in Arusha

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