African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has officially launched the operations of ‘MANSA’, a pan-African customer due diligence repository for financial institutions, corporate entities and SMEs, developed to address the perceived risk of doing business in Africa and with Africans.
MANSA is a single source of the primary data required for Customer Due Diligence (CDD) and Know Your Customer (KYC) checks on African entities, including financial institutions, corporates and SMEs, in accordance with best practices.
The platform will also serve to address key trade related challenges facing the continent, including, the lack of market information, the high cost of doing business in Africa and discovering African counterparties.
The launch of MANSA operations was announced at a virtual event hosted by Afreximbank that featured a panel discussion involving President of Afreximbank, Prof. Benedict Oramah; Group CEO of Ecobank, Mr. Ade Ayeyemi; Financial Sector Development Department at the African Development Bank, Stefan Nalletamby; Governor’s Advisor, African Affairs, Central Bank of Egypt, Dr. Naglaa Nozahie, and President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Engr. Mansur Ahmed.
Speaking during the event, Oramah was quoted in a statement to have said: “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.
“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 realisation of the goals of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).”
The platform was named after Mansa Musa, the Emperor of the Malian Empire in the 1300s, who was responsible for opening up trade across Africa and believed to be the only person ever to control the flow of gold between Africa and the Mediterranean.
In this initial phase of implementation, MANSA is now open to African businesses to onboard their corporate profiles to the Repository. Following an onboarding and validation process in keeping with the Platform’s compliance requirements, African entities will have their profiles listed and made available to users of the Repository.