West Africa drives SWIFT messaging traffic growth

Data from SWIFT, world’s leading provider of secure financial messaging services, shows that traffic growth in West Africa has outperformed the total growth of SWIFT globally. In the year to date, total traffic volumes in the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) grew by 13.7 percent versus 5.8 percent growth for SWIFT worldwide. This is on par with growth across the African continent of 13.6 percent. It illustrates the increasingly important role that West Africa plays in SWIFT’s global business.

“West Africa holds some of the largest economies in Africa and is an incredibly important market for SWIFT. Despite economic challenges, the region continues to see strong growth, outperforming other regions and SWIFT’s global growth. SWIFT opened its office in West Africa in 2015, and will continue to invest and strengthen its community in the region,” Hugo Smit, Head of Sub-Sahara Africa, SWIFT said.

Growth was even more pronounced in Ghana, which saw SWIFT traffic volumes up by 41.2 percent and compound annual growth over the last five years of 27.5 percent. Nigeria saw lower growth this year, at 2.9 percent, as a result of recent economic downturn and the falling price of oil. However,over the same five year period,compound annual growth has been high, at 32.2 percent.

This growth is underpinned by a significant increase in payments traffic, a reflection that the region continues to see good economic growth despite a more challenging global environment. Payment traffic volumes increased by 15.8 percent in WAMZ. This is higher than the rest of the continent, however,Africa remains the fastest growing region globally for payments traffic with a rise of 13percent, ahead of the rest of EMEA at 5 percent.

The SWIFT Index, a methodology for anticipating GDP growth by combining global payments data with actual quarterly GDP growth figures, demonstrates that SWIFT data is closely correlated to economic activity. Rising SWIFT traffic volumes are therefore an indicator of economic growth.The data released today indicates long-term and sustainable economic growth across West Africa.