Prof. Benedict Oramah, Afreximbank President

The African Export-Import Bank has launched a continental due diligence platforms for businesses and financial service firms operating in Africa called MANSA.

This was disclosed by the bank’s president, Prof. Benedict Oramah, in a virtual meeting on Thursday.

Oramah said the platform would address AfCFTA-related challenges, especially lack of market data for cross border business transactions and also opportunity sectors for Continental free trade. It would also be a data house on best practices by businesses and financial services firms in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Globally, regulators are toughening their stance as well as the severity of their sanctions for breaches of customer due diligence compliance regulations, instituted to prevent various financial crimes and related activities,” he said.

“This has dramatically increased the cost and complexity of satisfying Customer Due Diligence and Know Your Customer requirements. We have created MANSA as the solution to the negative impact on Africa, such as de-risking, the withdrawal of correspondent banking relationships, and cuts in trade, finance, and investment financial flows to Africa.

“In a fragmented continent of 55 countries that hardly traded among themselves since they became colonies, MANSA offers an opportunity to begin bringing down the borders and support the realization of the goals of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA),” he added.

Oramah noted that the platform was named after 14th century Malian Emperor, Mansa Musa, credited with linking the Sahel regions with the Middle East and Europe for trade, especially Gold, which he had a monopoly over.

The platform in its first phase would be open to African businesses to indicate their corporate data in the repository for validation, which would be made available to users looking for credible business data in the continent.