Kodwo Arizie - Head of Trade Financing Stanbic Bank Ghana

Stanbic Bank Ghana says it has commenced the deployment of structures to help Ghanaian businesses take advantage of the opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Head of Trade Financing at the Bank, Kodwo Arizie, said the vision of the AfCFTA sits very well within the vision of the Standard Bank Group, which is to drive Africa’s growth and the bank stands ready to push the agenda of the AfCFTA forcefully with innovative structures.

Speaking at a two-day National Conference on the implementation of the AfCFTA) in Accra, he said, “As an institution committed to driving the growth of the continent, we have started deploying a number of structures that are critical to ensuring that Ghanaian businesses benefit fully from this opportunity.

“The first is the deployment of a payment solution structure that makes trading across the continent easier given the different trading currencies that exist on the continent.

“We believe such a structure will help lower the cost of doing transactions across the continent and we are ready to support Africa in that regard.”

He also noted that developing the capacities of Ghanaian businesses is critical if they are to realise the full benefits of the opportunities presented by the AfCFTA.

Further to this, Stanbic Bank has instituted a business incubator programme to help build the capacities of businesses, especially Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).

According to Kodwo Arizie “The other thing that we have started doing as a bank is we have an incubator which aims to help small businesses grow into big giants.

“And we do this because sometimes small businesses are not able to attract and access funding from both local and international markets. So helping SMEs grow and packaging them well is critical in helping them access funds”.

The two-day conference was held on the theme “Empowering Ghanaian Businesses to harness the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, under the framework of the National Export Development Strategy (NEDS).”

It was organised by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI), the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) and the National AfCFTA Coordination Office, in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission (UNECA).