Kenya has launched the African Customer Due Diligence Platform that will be used by Businesses to spur cross border trade in African continent and particularly the East Africa Community (EAC) region.
The MANSA Repository platform, an initiative of African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) in partnership with the East African Business Council, will link East African companies and Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs), with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) market, by providing access to diligence information.
Speaking at the AfCFTA Market Opportunities meeting held at a Nairobi hotel, today, the Principal Secretary (PS) State Department for East African Community, Dr. Kevit Desai, urged the business community to embrace MANSA, which is the Africa Customer Due Diligence platform, for accessing information for business.
“Access to due diligence cost goes up to 30 percent of total administrative cost. But when the information is readily availed on MANSA platform, the costs and related risks of lending out or trading are minimized,” said the PS.
He added that the MANSA transactions will be of benefit to those using the platform as they will enjoy reduced interest rates and more trade volumes and transactions across the Continent.
Dr. Desai said the Kenya Government is keen on supporting businesses to access markets on the African Continent and beyond, through easing the regulatory framework and promoting exports for industrial, agricultural and service products.
The PS said the AfCFTA, a private sector initiative, is keen on growing intra-continental trade which currently stands at 13 percent, to enable EAC enjoy eliminated tariffs on intra-Africa and to make businesses easier to trade within Africa, in order to benefit from their growing market.
He, however, noted that for the businesses to benefit from the AfCFTA initiative, they must fully participate in the African economic operators namely, the private sector players.
Dr. Desai said Kenya has the opportunity to export its quality products from the manufacturing, agriculture and services sectors to the Continent on various products among them, milk, tea, coffee, horticulture produce, Information Technology, banking insurance and construction services
“We are happy that our household manufacturing sub-sector has also attracted people in the region and continent to demand for its cooking oil, detergents and cosmetics in huge volumes,” he said, and announced that all the products are ready to penetrate the African markets.
For the private sector to facilitate the implementation of AfCFTA , they will require a centralized, updated and secure data repository that will help them with access to new markets for products and services under AfCFTA, access to date and relevant information about African corporates and SMEs in the continent, one-stop information on potential markets and business to business matchmaking.
They will also be able to access a wide number of suppliers across Africa and to get in touch with investors for both equity and investment purposes by showcasing their company profile.
By Bernadette Khaduli