Trade finance was already going through a digital transformation before the COVID-19 crisis. However, this trend accelerated as the digitisation of trade flows became essential to the continuity of the business. The crisis could be a catalyst to reshape the industry more quickly and profoundly than could ever have been anticipated, with implications for entire trading ecosystems.
Digitisation is also a critical component to unlock the full potential of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Reinforcing the capacity of African firms and entrepreneurs to trade easily within Africa’s borders and reach a global marketplace requires significant progress in Africa’s digital infrastructure, as well as a focus on regulations that protect and enhance digital trade. Investments in digitisation can also be developed through public-private partnerships (PPPs), recognising the multiplier downstream benefits that this investment will bring. Digitisation, leveraging the AfCFTA, can be a tool for reducing inequality significantly, as it can facilitate reaching even the most marginalised and vulnerable. According to a study by the World Bank, AfCFTA would significantly boost African trade, particularly intra-regional trade in manufacturing. The volume of total exports would increase by almost 29% by 2035 relative to the baseline. Intra-continental exports would increase by over 81%, while exports to non-African countries would rise by 19%. Read More.