The African Export-Import Bank (AfreximBank) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat have announced the operational roll-out of the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS).
PAPSS is a revolutional financial markets infrasctructure built to enable instant, cross-border payments in local currencies between African markets.
PAPSS will serve as a continent-wide platform that simplifies cross-border transactions and reducing the dependency on hard currencies, essentially boosting intra-African trade.
The system thus underpins the implementation of the AfCFTA.
When fully rolled out, PAPSS is expected to save the continent more than $5 billion in payment transaction costs alone each year.
Speaking about the rollout, Professor Benedict Oramah, President, AfreximBank, said:
“With the implementation of PAPSS, Africa can expect to begin to reap the fruits of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. Afreximbank is proud to have contributed in the realization of the multi-decade dream that seemed unachievable just a few years ago.
PAPSS is not positioned to replace existing regional and national payment systems but to collaborate and work with them in better integrating African economies for the benefit of all. We thank the African Union, the AfCFTA Secretariat, the West African Monetary Institute and African Central banks for a remarkable outcome.”
According o Mike Ogbalu, CEO, PAPSS, the payment system is designed to be a fundamental rail connecting African markets to each other and enabling individuals, businesses and governments on the continent to trade with each other seamlessly. PAPSS will provide fresh impetus for businesses to scale more easily across Africa, essentially eliminating the borders that were previously there.
“PAPSS has demonstrate credibility through its successful pilot and proof of concept in the WAMZ region, a region with the diversity and complexity anticipated in the larger African context (multi-lingual, multi-currency, multi-regulator, etc). ”Following the accomplishment of this milestone, PAPSS will now set its sights on integrating the rest of the continent into this critical infrastructure by integrating National Payment Systems, Regional Payment Systems and other financial services providers.”