Ecobank has urged Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and large businesses in the country to embrace its recently launched cutting-edge digital platform, the Ecobank Single Market Trade Hub.
This platform serves as an exchange and information repository tailored to cater to the dynamic trading requirements of SMEs and corporates within Africa’s single market.
Now operational, the hub connects traders across the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), encompassing a vast market of 1.4 billion people.
The Ecobank Single Market Trade Hub introduces a unique online match-making feature, facilitating seamless connections between importers and exporters who have established their company profiles and are ready to showcase their goods and services.
This fosters easy networking for traders to engage with buyers and suppliers all across Africa.
Moreover, the hub provides access to a valuable repository of essential information and knowledge related to AfCFTA, thereby equipping SMEs with critical resources to expand their trade into new markets within Africa and develop into sustainable and scalable enterprises.
Kola Adeleke, the Executive Director of Commercial Banking, highlights the significant benefits of this digital trade platform for Nigerian businesses.
It will not only promote intra-African trade but also empower businesses to explore and capitalize on the numerous opportunities within the AfCFTA framework.
Morealso, it will facilitate smooth connections between importers and exporters within Africa’s single market, simplifying access to trading partners on the continent. Embracing this innovative platform can enhance the growth and success of businesses in the region.
According to him, “This hub is in line with our vision of powering one African market. As such, It has been designed to offer a whole lot of benefits to businesses in Nigeria and beyond.
Both customers and non-customers of the bank are eligible to sign up on the platform as it is also a gateway into Ecobank’s full range of products and digital solutions, including trade finance and services, cash management solutions (including RapidCollect), domestic and cross-border payments, investment banking, Capex financing and more”.
He asserted that Ecobank remains the preferred choice for pan-African trade and payments while noting that “our medium-term objective is to become the leading gateway for pan-African trade facilitation in the emergent AFCFTA era, leveraging our position as a major payment bank in Nigeria.”
As per projections from the World Bank, the implementation of the AfCFTA is expected to have a remarkable impact on Africa’s economic landscape. By the year 2035, this ambitious single market trade agreement, which commenced its operations in early 2021, is anticipated to bolster the continent’s income by an impressive $450 billion. Additionally, intra-African exports are predicted to surge by over 81%, contributing significantly to regional economic growth.
The core objectives of the AfCFTA involve substantial tariff reductions on goods and services among member countries, fostering an environment that encourages the free movement of traders and investments within the region. Such measures are poised to play a pivotal role in elevating Africa’s GDP by an estimated 7% by 2035.
The optimistic outlook doesn’t stop there; it is envisioned that the AfCFTA will act as a driving force propelling the African economy toward reaching the remarkable milestone of $29 trillion by 2050.
This projection comes from the United Nations Commission for Africa and indicates the tremendous potential that this trade agreement holds for transforming the economic landscape of the continent, boosting prosperity and fostering greater collaboration among African nations.