The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) announced that it was instituting a $1-billion AfCFTA Adjustment Facility, to enable countries adjust in an orderly manner to sudden significant tariff revenue losses as a result of the implementation of the agreement.
This was made known in Niamey, Niger by the president of Afreximbank, Prof. Benedict Oramah, during the 12th Extraordinary Summit of African Union (AU) Heads of State and governments.
While addressing the heads of state, Afreximbank president said “this facility will help countries to accelerate the ratification of the AfCFTA … you have started a movement. You must not look back. This movement is now unstoppable.”
Heads of state gathered over the weekend at Niamey to mark the start of the operational phase of the AfCFTA. The event also saw Nigeria and Benin signing the AfCFTA to become part of the agreement.
Professor Oramah also informed the Summit of the launch the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS), the first continent-wide payment digital system focused on facilitating payments for goods and services in intra-African trade in African currencies.
“Today we will launch the Africa-wide digital payment infrastructure – the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) – that we developed in collaboration with the African Union,” he said.
According to Afreximbank, this platform is expected to domesticate, intra-regional payments, save the continent more than $5 billion in payment transaction costs per annum, formalise a significant proportion of the estimated $50 billion of informal intra-African trade, and above all, contribute in boosting intra-African trade. This will also help reduce the foreign currency content of intra-African trade payments.
“No people have achieved meaningful development when their economic progress depends on others,” he argued that, in the “renewed focus on industrial and value-chain development across the continent in trying to boost trade and investment, it is imperative that we address the economic costs of effecting so many payments in scarce foreign exchange,” said Oramah.