Our guide to the issues likely to impact businesses and the key measures taken by African governments in response to COVID-19.
The coming into effect and promulgation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has ushered in a new and exciting era for the continent. AfCFTA aims to enhance intra-African trade by providing a complete and mutually beneficial trade agreement among Member States. It covers goods and services, investment, intellectual property rights and competition policy. On December 5, 2020, the African Union Assembly approved the start of trading under AfCFTA as of January 1, 2021.
Digital transformation is a driving force for innovative, inclusive and sustainable growth. The digital economy encompasses the economic and social activities that are boosted by platforms such as mobile and sensor networks, including e-commerce. The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) represents an opportunity to boost growth, reduce poverty and expand economic inclusion in Africa.
The fintech industry is popular for its dynamic approach to delivery and relies on technological advances. Innovations such as blockchain, mobile payments and savings, peer-to-peer lending platforms, crowdfunding and similar internet-based solutions have radically transformed the financial services landscape in Nigeria, challenging its traditional business models and regulatory infrastructure. However, beyond the noteworthy advancements in this sector, a key concern is giving the country’s growing population access to these innovative solutions.
Open banking is a system where banks allow or authorize third parties, such as financial technology or fintech companies, to access their clients’ financial data to build applications or services. Anchored on providing better customer experiences, open banking has stirred a lot of interest in Africa, including banking apps with detailed analytics of finances, the ability to send money from one bank to another using mobile phones, or the ability to transfer money from one telecoms network to another.
Many African countries are still grappling with the impact of the lockdown initiatives caused by COVID-19.1 Adapting to the health and safety protocols across Africa has meant a significant increase in the sheer volume of data being processed, particularly in the health and education sectors.