PAPSS makes significant progress; poised to drive trade in Africa for Africans by Africans


The CEO of Pan African Payment and Settlement Systems, PAPSS, Mr Mike Ogbalu III has announced that the System is fully operational and making rapid progress.

According to him, about thirteen African Central Banks have so far signed on and connected over 115 commercial banks as well as ten payment switches across Africa with another 115 commercial banks in the pipeline for connection.

He has reassured that the foundation is solid and the time has come for action and acceleration.

It is time to use the system to drive trade in Africa, for Africans, by Africans. We urge all banks to join us in our collective effort to promote intra-African trade and development through PAPSS, he stressed.

Mr Mike Ogbalu III announced these and more at the first Consultative Forum of CEOs of African Banks bringing together executives of African commercial banks, bankers’ associations, payment switches, the association of African stock exchanges and other financial service providers.

The maiden forum, was successfully put together by the promoters of the Pan-African Payment & Settlement System (PAPSS) that is African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank or “the Bank”), African Union Commission (AUC) and African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat.

The Forum therefore provided an avenue for participants to deliberate on the successes and challenges of the PAPSS payment system and explore potential path forward on how it can be optimised to facilitate seamless and efficient cross-border payments to support the implementation of the AfCFTA.
Following productive discussions, participants at the Forum agreed to take collective ownership of the success and the future of PAPSS given its significant and hugely positive impact on the facilitation of cross-border payments and the development of intra-African trade.

In addition, participants advocated to leverage PAPSS as a pathway to increasing the share of African currencies in intra-African trade and other cross-border payments, as well as increasing the volume of intra-regional payments for mutual benefits to drive rapid adoption of PAPSS by businesses.

Participants agreed to embed PAPSS into their digital channels to enable ease of access and seamless integration for existing customers.

The CEO in his further comments said his outfit is pleased to see overwhelming support of the forum by the leadership of the African financial institutions.

PAPSS, he said is a revolutionary initiative that has the potential to significantly transform the financial and payments landscape of the African Continent.

As managers of PAPSS, we are committed to ensuring it succeeds. We urge all African financial institutions to join us in transforming the way payments are done in Africa, he added
The Pan-African Payment and Settlement System – PAPSS is a centralised Financial Market Infrastructure that enables the efficient flow of money securely across African borders, minimising risk and contributing to financial integration across the regions.

PAPSS works in collaboration with Africa’s central banks to provide a payment and settlement service to which commercial banks and licensed payment service providers across the region can connect as ‘Participants’.

Afreximbank and the African Union (“AU”) first announced PAPSS at the Twelfth Extraordinary Summit of the African Union held on July 7, 2019, in Niamey, Niger Republic, therefore adopting PAPSS as a key instrument for the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

Further, in its thirteenth (13th) extraordinary session, held on December 5, 2020, the assembly of the African Union directed Afreximbank and the AfCFTA secretariat to finalise, among others, work on the Pan-African Payments and Settlements System (PAPSS).

The 35th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the AU further directed the AfCFTA and Afreximbank to deploy the system to cover the entire continent. PAPSS was officially launched in Accra, Ghana, on January 13, 2022, thus making it available for use by the public.


Participants in a group picture at the Forum

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