Zenith Bank has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to develop a state of the art platform known as the SMARTAfCFTA.
The MoU was signed at the eighth edition of Zenith Bank International Trade Seminar in Lagos on Tuesday. SMARTAfCFTA is a single portal for trade information for the continent on trade. The Bank will fund the portal for trade information in Africa with one million dollars.
Speaking at the event, Ebenezer Onyeagwu, group chief executive officer/ managing director at Zenith Bank, said the collaboration aims to unlock the vast opportunities presented by AfCFTA not only for Nigeria’s economic prosperity but also for advancing trade across African countries.
“With the MoU, Zenith will be developing the smart AfCFTA portal which is going to serve as a straight porter that will showcase African products and services and where they can be found,” he said.
The annual event themed ‘Nigerian Non-Oil Export Industry -The Present, The Future’ explored ways to unlock opportunities in Nigeria’s non-oil export by gaining valuable insights into the sector’s present state and the future prospects.
Commending the Bank, Wamkele Mene, secretary-general of AfCFTA, said the partnership demonstrates its commitment to digitisation of trade in Africa.
“What many of you may not be aware of and the MD may be too modest to say is that Zenith Bank was the first bank to come to me to say we want to partner with you. The chairman said the one million dollars was to demonstrate the commitment as a bank to digitisation in Africa.
“So, the portal wasn’t my idea; it wasn’t our idea at the AfCFTA Secretariat. It was Zenith Bank that stepped up and said this has to be done,” he said.