TechInAfrica – Africa is a continent with volcanic potentials in its economic sector. With 1.3b population and a GDP of over $2.6T, it still left many pondering questions as to why the continent hasn’t been able to increase its intra-trade exports, which stuck at 17% compared to its Asia (59%) and Europe (69%) counterpart from Brookings Institution latest report.
Ideally, with its current population and GDP, the implementation of free trade agreement in the continent will create a single African market of over a billion consumers with a total GDP of over $3T, which will make Africa the largest free trade area in the world, according to Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Vera Songwe.
So what if the already existing digital technology could boost the implementation of AfCTA and its following guidelines, policy, and framework in the continent?
Dr. Augustina Odame of the Ghana Chamber of Technology echoed a similar sentiment, saying, “We need to put as much effort as we are putting into getting the operational blocks of the agreement and secretariat going into getting the African payments regulatory landscape similarly integrated. Payments across the continent could probably be made seamless today. The technology is there.”
Seamless payment has been a long-cooking idea in the industry, and digital payment is a practical example of that, which is accessible from different countries. It can fill the spot in which transactions are the core driver of the economy across the continent.
Technology solutions like Interswitch, for example, create and deploy technology solutions while prepping innovative solutions for the business and individuals.
“Over the last few years, we have invested extensively in building and continuously developing a variety of payment channels which facilitate a real-time transaction through any means desirable by all parties within the payment process. Our vision at Interswitch is an Africa where payment becomes a seamless part of our everyday life,” says Interswitch’s founder and Group Chief Executive Officer, Mitchell Elegbe.
With that said, and considering the available technology, the dream of an Africa continent with boosted intra-trade perhaps will not have to wait for 2040 to happen.
The combination of seamless payment technology with the executed benefits of CfTA can make this dream come true very soon.