In a groundbreaking move towards fostering self-reliance and igniting economic growth, Nigeria’s Zenith Bank has forged a pioneering partnership with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to establish a cutting-edge smart portal aimed at revolutionizing trade dynamics across the African continent.
Zenith Bank is set to allocate a substantial investment of $1 million to fund the development of a unified and dynamic trade information portal for Africa. This strategic alliance was formally sealed through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, the Group CEO of Zenith Bank, and Wamkele Mene, the Secretary-General of the AfCFTA, amidst the vibrant atmosphere of the 2023 Zenith Bank International Trade Seminar in Lagos
With the theme ‘Nigerian Non-Oil Export Industry: The Present, The Future’, the seminar illuminated the path towards self-sufficiency and prosperity by advocating an inward-looking approach to trade. Dr. Onyeagwu highlighted the essence of driving Africa’s economic success through its own resources and potential, which sparked the visionary conception of a singular trade portal for the entire continent.
The envisaged AfCFTA portal is projected to play a pivotal role in streamlining trade operations within African nations. The transformative capabilities of the portal, as expounded by Dr. Onyeagwu, promise a revolutionary platform that effortlessly showcases African products and services while facilitating seamless transactions and connections among diverse regions.
Dr. Onyeagwu elucidated the portal’s innovative features, emphasizing that it will empower businesses to not only present their offerings but also explore the myriad opportunities available within the continent. The portal’s scope transcends geographical boundaries, enabling entrepreneurs to effortlessly seek out and engage with African products and services. He underscored that the portal’s inception seeks to address a prevalent trend wherein businesses instinctively look beyond Africa’s borders for goods and services, underlining the importance of leveraging Africa’s own vast resources.
The event emphasized the critical need for Africa to take the lead in its journey to prosperity, rather than relying solely on external influences. Dr. Onyeagwu echoed the sentiments of the AfCFTA Secretary-General, asserting that Africa’s growth and development are inherently the responsibility of its people. He highlighted the transformative potential of the African Continental Free Trade Area, forecasting that its implementation will not only reshape Nigeria’s trajectory but will also catalyze an unparalleled transformation across the entire African landscape.
Wamkele Mene, the Secretary-General of the AfCFTA, expressed heartfelt gratitude to Zenith Bank for its visionary initiative. He commended Zenith Bank for being the pioneer institution to step forward and champion the creation of the smart trade portal, a landmark contribution that is set to reshape the future of African trade. Mr. Mene revealed that the notion of the portal emerged from Zenith Bank’s proactive approach to driving digital trade advancements.
With the strategic alliance between Zenith Bank and AfCFTA, Africa stands poised on the precipice of an epochal transformation in trade dynamics. This collaborative endeavor heralds a future where African innovation and resources take center stage, leading to prosperity, self-sufficiency, and a resounding economic resurgence across the continent.