Speaking at the launch, the Chief Guest, Dr. Kevit Desai said “There can be no AfCFTA without the full participation of African economic operators – private-sector players who have to operationalize the agreement.
He said the Government of Kenya is keen on supporting businesses to access markets on the African continent and beyond through easing the regulatory framework and promoting exports for industrial, agricultural and services products.
On her part, Ms. Emily Waita representing EABC Chairman Mr. Nick Nesbitt said “The Mansa Digital platform is one of the digital tools EABC is rolling out to enable SMEs and Corporates to find new partners to scale up their industries across the continent and support business recovery”.
“We salute EAC Heads of State for ratifying the AfCFTA as implementing the agreed commitments is vital to realize the benefits of the 1.2 billion continental market,” said Ms. Waita. She urged the Republic of South Sudan to also ratify the AfCFTA.
She said “In 2020 Kenya’s intra-Africa exports stood at US$2.28 billion – a 4.5% increase compared to 2019”
On her part, Mrs. Maureen Mba, “Afreximbank is committed to working with public and private sector to transform Africa’s trade and industrialization.”
She elaborated that AfCFTA breaks the barriers to trading across Africa corridors and called upon Africa to transform its trade and industrialization in order to boost intra-Africa trade from the current 16%.
She said, “ the Mansa platform will facilitate SMEs to get an African Entity Identifier (AEI) supporting financial transactions and Know Your Customer service in Africa.”
She stated that said 70%-80% of raw materials used across the globe are from Africa hence the need for more value addition to converting African resources into finished goods ready for export to the continent and beyond.
On his part Mr. Kalisa said, “trade information is important for b2b engagement – the Mansa digital platform builds confidence and trust among businesses in East Africa and Africa.” He elaborated trade information, improving productive infrastructure & capacity, access to finance, market factor integration, vaccination and fiscal incentives to businesses form the backbone for the economic recovery of the EAC bloc and will reposition the region to tap into the AfCFTA market.
On his part, Mr. Wanjohi said “Infrastructure development and connectivity, custom documentation & procedures, Rules of Origin under the AfCFTA is important to facilitate movement of goods across Africa borders” He said women are set to benefit from the AfCFTA market and the EAC bloc should reduce the cost of doing business and enhance competitiveness.
Mr. Victor Ogalo said “EAC bloc should boost the productive capacity of exports to the continent and ride on the huge infrastructure development”
He stated AfCFTA is set to boost manufacturing output to USD930billion by 2025 from 500bilion in 2015 and called for deliberate policy commitments to integrate East African SMEs in the manufacturing value chains.
Dr. Habil Olaka, said “COVID-19 disruption has reemphasized on importance of data management and data-driven insights and solutions for resilience of financial services sector”
He said the Mansa platform supplement and optimize the established frameworks on credit access& appraisal and bridge information asymmetry between banks and MSMEs.
He elaborated the Mansa platform supports Kenyan banks to undertake due diligence on customers and as they spread their wings into the EAC and Continent.
Mr. Samuel Matonda, Mansa platform is an African solution promoting the trust needed to seamlessly trade under the AfCFTA.
The launch was attended by over 100 business captains, leading women in business, industry champions based in Kenya.
The MANSA digital platform provides a single primary source of Know-Your-Customer (KYC) data required to conduct customer diligence checks on counterparties in Africa with a special focus on African Corporates, SMEs and financial institutions.