United Bank of Africa has made it possible for traders across Africa to now transact their businesses through it without any foreign correspondent bank as it has the competitive advantage of leveraging its expansive network in Africa. This is through the bank’s AFRI-TRADE services which it has overhauled and also extended to Niger, Togo and Mali in addition to the existing 19 countries.
AFRI-TRADE as a product offering from UBA, facilitates trade between African countries; as payments for transactions and supporting documentations (where applicable) are routed through the bank’s network across its subsidiaries in Africa; or through some local participating banks in countries where the bank is not present.
With UBA serving as the importer and exporter bank, UBA AFRITRADE affords businesses and individuals the convenience of making payment in their local currencies, Euro and US dollars either by paying into a UBA account, through letters of credit, Francophone availed drafts, bills for collection, export proceed collection or simple documentary cross boarder funds transfers.
Managing Director of UBA Ghana, Abiola Bawuah explains to JOY BUSINESS, this should go a long way to reduce the cost of operations of Trans-Africa traders.
“If I am moving from Ghana to Nigeria, and I get to Togo, I wouldn’t have to change my Cedis into CFA before changing to Naira when you reach Nigeria. So they are being bitten twice. But with the Afri-Trade, its only one currency-transfer once you have you have your Cedis. Also if you have that sound relationship with your suppliers in say Nigeria, you can ask them to transfer a certain amount of goods to you here in Ghana and then you send the money to them in their country. So the cost of having to travel to get your supplies is eliminated” she said.
The initiative is part of efforts to enhance financial and economic integration in Africa and according to Madam Bawuah, this is evident in how it has facilitated trade between Ghanaian businesses and their counterparts in other parts of Africa.
“Between Ghana and the Francophone countries, people now know that if you have companies in either Cote D’Ivoire or Burkina Faso, you don’t have to be scared of people buying from you from Ghana. So we have seen that Afri-Trade is promoting a lot of businesses especially SME’s in Ghana across most francophone countries because once the buyer pays the CFA to UBA the receiver in Ghana receives it in Cedis. So the need for you to push your buyers to pay you, the expensive Letters of Credit etc, you don’t have to go through that. Also you don’t have to even go through exchanging into dollars neither do you have to move from here before you can buy from another country. Sellers are here in Ghana and their products are all over Africa – we have those exporting to Cote D’Ivoire Cameroun and Gabon among others and without going to any of these countries, they receive their monies” she concluded.