Zenith Bank Plc on Tuesday in Lagos signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to build a smart portal for trade on the African continent.
Under the arrangement, Zenith is to fund the single portal for trade information with $1 million.
The MoU was signed by Ebenezer Onyeagwu, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank, and Wamkele Mene, the Secretary-General of the AfCFTA, during the 2023 Zenith Bank International Trade Seminar in Lagos.
Urging Africa to look inward for trade, Ebenezer Onyeagwu, the GMD of Zenith Bank, said at the seminar themed: ‘Nigerian Non-Oil Export Industry, the Present, the Future that there is a need to drive Africa’s prosperity by Africans informed the idea of the single Africa trade portal.
He said the portal would play a significant role in facilitating trade among African countries.
With the MoU, Zenith is expected to develop the smart AfCFTA portal which is going to serve as a straight portal that will showcase African products and services and where they can be found.
“If you look at Q1 exports in Nigeria, you will realize that 46.43 percent of non-oil exports in Nigeria go to Europe, 24.85 percent go to Asia, America 18.39 percent, and Africa 10.27 percent.
“And also, there is this tendency in Africa; the moment you are looking for an item you can’t find in your geography or region, the next thing you think of is how to find it in Europe. How do I find it in the West? How do I find it in China? Now with the development of the AfCFTA portal, we are saying look for it in Africa before you look elsewhere,” Onyeagwu said.
On his part, Mene commended Zenith Bank for coming up with the idea of a smart trade portal for Africa and for funding it to the tune of $1 million.
He said Zenith Bank wants to make a contribution to digitise trade in Africa with $1 million.