The Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) which is aimed at facilitating trade and payments in the sub-region has been launched in Accra yesterday.
It is expected to save the African continent $5 billion anually in payment charges.
An initiative of the Afreximbank, Africa Union and AfCFTA, PAPSS, is meant to connect payment and accelerate Africa’s trade.
Meant to transform how payments are made across borders in Africa, PAPSS is a cross border, financial market infrastructure instantly connecting payment transaction across Africa.
Among others, PAPSS is to simplify the historical complexities and costs of making payments across Africa’s borders, providing operational efficiencies that open up vast economic opportunities.
It also facilitates instant payments made by both originators and beneficiaries in their local currencies, anywhere in Africa.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in a speech read on his behalf by the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, during the commercial launch of PAPSS, said he was happy about the efforts being made for the implementationof PAPSS, stressing it would help implement intra-African trade.
He said PAPSS was the closest Africa had come to adopting a common currency.
The President also indicated that the launch of PAPSS was one of the most important achievements since the journey to integrate African economies.
President Akufo-Addo said the underlying motive of Africa’s integration programme was to generate “socio-economic benefits of the citizens.”
“The production of goods in a national and sub-regional level is a better way of getting more benefits,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo entreated all the Central Banks in Africa to join their switches to the PAPSS switch to ensure the smooth implementation of the programme.
He commended AFCFTA and Afreximbank for spearheading the PAPSS.
The President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, Professor Benedict Oramah, said his outfit was proud to be part of the development and commercial launch of PAPSS.
He said PAPSS would help to boost trade in Africa and reduce the cost of doing business on the continent.
He said AfCFTA was creating a market of 1.2 billion people with a combined Gross Domestic Product of $3 trillion.
The Secretary General of AfCFTA, Wamkele Mene, said the launch of PAPSS was a milestone in the integration of the African continent.
“The dream of integration of Africa is becoming a reality in our lifetime,” he said.
He said PAPSS had the potential to boost Africa’s trade as well as barriers to trade.
“AfCFTA is working to ensure we have the appropriate regulatory framework to ensure PAPSS is well integrated in the AfCFTA legal arrangement,” Mr Mene said.
So far he said 39 countries had ratified the AfCFTA making it the fastest instrument to be ratified in the history of African Union.
He said dispute settlement and resolution arrangement had been developed to promptly settle trade dispute which arise under the implementation of AfCFTA.
The Chief Executive Officer of PAPSS, Mike Ogbalu, said the launch of PAPSS was a major step forward towards the self-reliance and prospering of Africa and in line with the Africa Agenda 2063. He said a prosperous continent was a trading continent that build and retain wealth from its goods and services.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE