African Trade Finance: Mind the technology gap
Plugging the gap from above
Africa is uniquely placed to trade with growing markets in the East, established markets in the West, and domestic markets on her own continent. In order
to benefit from the ensuing economic advantages, the continent’s financial institutions have started to tackle the unmet demand of Africa’s trade finance
gap, currently estimated at US$120 billion by the African Development Bank (AfDB).
A number of wholesale trade finance initiatives have been brought to the fore, aimed at unlocking intra-regional trade to boost economic growth. But emerging technology offers a timely opportunity to anchor the continent’s top-down approach with a nimble, efficient and bottom-up solution.
From a distance these headline-grabbing initiatives appear to have understood the root cause of the challenge, and seem to be taking the necessary steps
to addressing it. However, when we look closer at the market data, a different picture emerges.