Launch of the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS)

The much anticipated Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) was formally launched on Thursday 13 January 2022 in Ghana. The event was attended, among others, by Ghanaian Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, appearing on behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, as well as former President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou, a prominent player in developing AfCFTA, AfCFTA Secretary General Wamkele Mene and Central Bank of Nigeria Governor and Chairman of PAPSS Godwin Emefiele.

The system was developed by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) with the aim to reduce the cost and time of payments, lower the level of banking liquidity required to make payments, and improve central bank oversight of payments. According to Afreximbank, PAPSS provides the solution to the disconnected and fragmented nature of payment and settlement systems that have long impeded intra-African trade. Prior to PAPSS, over 80 per cent of African cross-border payment transactions originating from African banks had to be routed offshore for clearing and settlement using international banking relationships. That posed multiple challenges, ranging from payment delays to operational inefficiencies and compliance concerns for the disparate regional payment systems.

The PAPSS was successfully trialled in the six-member West African Monetary Zone  (Gambia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone )since last year.

Other AU countries are expected to soon join the PAPSS.

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