The Private Sector is largely expected to drive the AfCFTA. This has been said a multiple times by Heads of States, Appointees and the Continental Community including your good self. GITFIC has for the past half a decade proved its ability to bring together Business Executives, policy makers and subject matter experts from all over Africa and the world to articulate ways of enhancing inter Africa trade, regional integration, trade liberalization, trade policies and practices of the African continent and notably to turn talks into actions.
The unique feature of our annual conference is its ability to galvanize the business community of Africa as a major driving force moving Africa as a bloc in the global trade and working together on its shared future. GITFIC is indigenously Ghanaian.
A number of barriers persist at local, regional and international levels that affect formal and informal trade, the level of economic growth and regional integration attainable. In Africa, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) account for approximately 80 percent of the continent’s businesses but trading across borders is notably expensive and lengthy due to non- tariff and regulatory barriers.
The informal cross-border trade in Africa, which represents 43 percent of the official GDP, lacks effective payment, regulatory and institutional frameworks to support cross border digital trade and fragmented regulatory frameworks and this continue to limit the potential to unlock the benefits of intra-African trade. The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) aims to accelerate intra-African trade, boost economic growth and strengthen economic integration among African countries.
To enable the implementation of the AfCFTA, an evaluation of opportunities and bottlenecks for cross border digital payments in the region is fundamental. Cross Border Payments and Settlement serve as an essential step for economic recovery and inclusivity given the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and economies.
Cross Border Payments and Settlement has expanded rapidly in recent years, facilitated by improvements in technology and the emergence of new digital products and business models. However, despite the growing importance of Cross Border Payments and Settlement, little is known about its nature and scale, raising questions over the ability of current data collection methods to keep pace with the rapidly changing nature of modern trade. The lack of a common conceptual definition and understanding of Cross Border Payments and Settlement have contributed in part to the lack of data. Lack of understanding about the scale and impacts of Cross Border Payments and Settlement poses major challenges for policy makers who need better evidence to understand the implications of Cross Border Payments and Settlement and develop appropriate policy responses.
The 6th Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference (GITFiC) 2022 will entail among others an assessment on how Mobile Money Transactional Penetrations in Africa can be a catalyst to transform traditional offline payments to cross border digital payments and enable micro, small and medium sized enterprises to engage beyond the informal sector and domestic markets and participate in the formal sector and international markets.
The 6th Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference (GITFiC) 2022 aims to provide an up-to-date understanding on the effectiveness and efficiency of digital payment vis-a-vis Mobile Money Transactional Penetrations in Africa; a Catalyst to solving Cross Border Payment & Settlement Issues.
Understanding what Cross Border Payment & Settlement is and its scale is important, given its increasing prominence in the modern economy, and the complexity of the domain. Given that, the nature of Cross Border Payment & Settlement is very different to traditional payment systems; this also has implications for policy-makers and legislators to design regulation that sufficiently addresses the challenges associated with these forms of cross-border transactions. Related to this is the understanding that Cross Border Payment & Settlement presents an opportunity for economic growth in the modern-day economy.
This supports governmental objectives of breaking down trade barriers and promoting competitiveness, as well as growing a strong, inclusive and innovative economy and facilitating efficient digital evolution. The gains associated with facilitating Cross Border Payment & Settlement through Mobile Money Penetration would contribute to national economic prosperity. Within this context, improvements in statistics to measure Cross Border Payment & Settlement provide the first step to effective policy making to encourage, and address the challenges of Cross Border Payment & Settlement.
The 6th Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference (GITFiC) 2022, therefore, seeks to update the evidence base of what is currently available in terms of data on digital trade, and in doing so, identify potential options for estimating the value of Cross Border Payment & Settlement given the current data gaps.
From the financial sectors’ point of view, the development of a safe and efficient national payment system has relevance for monetary policy, financial stability and overall economic development interests. Central banks, monitor developments in the payment systems to assess their impact on the demand for money, monetary policy and financial system stability. In Africa and elsewhere, the central banks have been playing multifaceted roles like operators, owners, facilitators, regulators, overseers, users and service providers of their national payment systems. Through these roles, central banks have acquired expertise, skills and in-depth knowledge on the role of the payment mechanisms in the financial system and the economy. There is the need to make use of this expertise and share it with others in the region and elsewhere.
A regional or continental payment initiative would be a vehicle, which would help to achieve this objective. Central banks can advise on payment related financial policy and act as effective catalysts, together with private sector organizations, in initiating, promoting and contributing to Cross Border Payment & Settlement reforms. The 6th Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference (GITFiC) 2022 will focus on the role the financial institutions in Africa play. The conference will also highlight the leadership or catalyst role by providing policy directions, preparing roadmaps in consultation with stakeholders, and guiding National and Regional Cross Border Payment & Settlement System reforms. It will also develop a common payment policy framework acceptable to all countries in the region.
The conference will bring together key stakeholders from African countries, regional economic communities, regional central banks, and specialized regional institutions, including representatives of central banks, national telecom authorities, selected participants from the private sector (banks, mobile money service providers, telecom operators, platform operators and micro financial Institutions, Finance, Trade-Finance, Accounting, Directors, Chief Executives et al), Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), as well as bilateral and multilateral organizations representatives.
GITFiC has for the past decade proved its ability to bring together business executives, policy makers and subject matter experts from all over the world to articulate ways of enhancing inter Africa trade, regional integration, trade liberalization, trade policies and practices of the African continent and notably to turn talks into actions. Due to our stellar reputation and equally impressive attention to detail over the past 5 years, GITFiC is credited to organizing the Annual International Conference on Trade, Trade Finance and Logistics which has transformed into a Pan-African Conference with support from various agencies both in the public (BoG, MoT, MoF etc.), private sector (Association of Ghana Industries) and international organization (GIZ). The unique feature of this annual conference and seminars is its ability to dialogue on sharing experience, knowledge, education et al surrounding the AfCFTA, Trade, Trade-Finance, Finance and Logistics.
In 2017, the Ghana International Trade & Finance Conference (GITFIC) held its maiden Conference in Accra at the Alisa Hotel in collaboration with the Private Enterprise Federation under the theme; Trade, Freight and Finance and the 2018 conferences were organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade & Industry of Ghana at the Best Western Premium Hotel in Accra.
In 2019, the Ghana International Trade & Finance Conference (GITFIC) held its third major Conference in Addis Ababa at the AU Headquarters, Ethiopia in partnership with the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations with a host of issues addressed including :. “The role of intra Continental Free Trade Agreement”; “Equity Finance & Investment Financing in Africa”; “The need for Capital Market in Ethiopia and the way forward”; “The role of African Private Sector in Green Economy; The Case of Ghana” among other interesting topics.
In 2020, the Ghana International Trade & Finance Conference (GITFIC) held its fourth major Conference in Accra in partnership with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and the Association of Ghana Industry where ACCRA was officially declared the COMMERCIAL CAPITAL OF AFRICA in lieu of the AfCFTA under the theme: Optimizing AfCFTA for Africans; the Strategic Role of Logistics Infrastructure.
The 5th Conference which was held last year (2021), with all COVID 19 protocols observed, saw participation from the Central Banks in Africa; the Central Bank of Francophone West Africa, Central Bank of Francophone Central Africa, African Development Bank, ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development, Central Bank of Namibia, African Union Commissioner for Trade, Industry, and Mining, West African Monetary Institute, United States Ambassador to Ghana, Kenyan High Commissioner to Ghana, Namibian High Commissioner to Ghana, Mexican Ambassador to Ghana, Business Community of Ghana, amongst a tall list of dignitaries from 6 African countries. The Vice President of the Republic of Ghana was the special guest of honor under the theme: Facilitating Trade and Trade-Finance in AfCFTA; The Role of the Financial Services Sector.
Arrival in Accra should be at least a day before the Opening Ceremony ie; 22nd May, 2022.
Important Resource Pages to visit:
https://gitfic.com/regional-seminars-on-afcfta/ (Our Regional Seminars on the AfCFTA)
https://gitfic.com/monthly-research-reports/ (Our Monthly Research Reports)
https://gitfic.com/press-releases/ (A few selected media reportage since 2017)
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