The digitization of African Commerce: A key driver for Trade fintech adoption?

May 3, 2024

A significant shift is underway in African Commerce, driven by the rapid advancement of digital technologies. Recently, Jeldone Njenga, Senior Relationship Manager in the CIB department, participated in the GTR Africa 2024 conference in Cape Town, where she joined a panel discussion on “The digitization of African Commerce: A key driver for Trade fintech adoption.”

  1. According to you, what is driving the increasing adoption of Trade fintech solutions in African Commerce?

The rise of Trade fintech solutions in African Commerce is fueled by a convergence of factors. Firstly, there’s a palpable necessity for financing digital trade, a gap being rapidly filled by innovative Trade fintech companies like Wasoko. Banks, including Bank One, are actively recognizing the urgency to modernize and automate trade processes to remain competitive. The advent of global initiatives, such as the EU’s adoption of Electronic Freight Transport Information (EFTI), further underscores the importance of embracing digital innovation in trade finance.

  1. How are banks adapting to this digital transformation facilitated by Trade fintech in Africa?

Banks like Bank One are at the forefront of digital transformation. They are proactively integrating Trade fintech solutions into their operations, leveraging new systems to automate trade processes and staying abreast of market developments. However, it is not just an internally driven effort. Banks are collaborating extensively with the regulators, commodity houses, logistics firms, and other stakeholders to build the necessary infrastructure for seamless digital trade.

  1. What challenges does the digitization of trade processes present in Africa, particularly concerning Trade fintech adoption?

A significant challenge in digitizing trade processes in Africa lies in bridging the gap between the physical flow of goods and the flow of digital documents. Currently, these aspects are disjointed, necessitating comprehensive integration and digitization across the entire trade cycle. While initiatives like the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) provide momentum, building the requisite infrastructure and fostering collaboration among stakeholders remain paramount for successful Trade fintech adoption.

  1. How can financial institutions, such as Bank One, contribute to accelerating the adoption of Trade fintech solutions in African Commerce?

Financial institutions, including Bank One, play a pivotal role in accelerating the adoption of Trade fintech solutions in African Commerce. By actively partnering with Trade fintech companies and solution providers, banks can fortify their digital capabilities whilst ensuring transparency and accountability throughout the trade value chain. This collaborative approach not only enhances banks’ competitiveness but also empowers businesses across the supply chain, fostering growth and innovation in African trade.