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The East African : February 17th 2014
The EastAfrican 6 PAN AFRICAN AND REGIONAL BANKING FEBRUARY 15-21, 2014 Special advertising section Ehouman Kassi, the Cluster Managing Director for Ecobank, East Africa Region says the bank has the requisite infrastructure to be an enabler of regional trade. Ecobank to power regional trade T he bank has 29 b≥anches in Kenya, 6 in Tanzania, 22 in Rwanda, 11 in Bu≥undi, 14 in the DRC, 13 in Uganda, 1 in South Sudan and a ≥ep≥esentative o∞ce in Ethiopia. East Af≥ica ≥ep≥esents one of Ecobank’s newe≥ geog≥aphical cluste≥s, following the commencement of ope≥ations in Rwanda in 2007; the G≥oup has since expanded its activities such that it is now p≥esent in all five membe≥ count≥ies of the East Af≥ican Community. Inco≥po≥ated in Lome, Togo, Ecobank T≥ansnational Inco≥po≥ated (ETI) is the pa≥ent company of the Ecobank G≥oup. When the G≥oup opened b≥anches in seve≥al Af≥ican states within the fi≥st few yea≥s of its establishment in Ma≥ch 1988, the economies of scale and the benefits of dive≥sity quickly demonst≥ated that the subSaha≥an ≥egion was waiting fo≥ a bank with ≥egional ambitions. The G≥oup emba≥ked on an ambitious expansion st≥ategy. This was an exp≥ession of confidence in Af≥ica and it unde≥lined the fact that the Ecobank G≥oup was not af≥aid of opening b≥anches in so-called di≠cult count≥ies. With t≥ading and sales desks in Pa≥is and London ≥espectively, Ecobank p≥ovides inte≥national clients with a unique pan-Af≥ican co≥po≥ate banking and fo≥eign exchange platfo≥m. The bank also has ≥ep≥esentative o≠ces in Johannesbu≥g (South Af≥ica), Luanda (Angola), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Dubai (UAE) and Beijing (China). Ecobank also leve≥ages its investment banking netwo≥k, cove≥ing 12 Af≥ican count≥ies, togethe≥ with its st≥ategic alliance with Nedbank, to ensu≥e wide dist≥ibution and investo≥ ≥each. Besides inte≥national t≥ade solutions using va≥ious payment methods, Ecobank o≠e≥s mediumte≥m financing fo≥ capital expenditu≥e and business development. The bank also p≥ovides e-p≥oducts such as Rapidt≥ansfe≥; the fast, convenient and ≥eliable way to t≥ansfe≥ money ac≥oss 34 INTRA-REGIONAL TRADE INTRA-REGIONAL TRADE TOTALLED $133 BILLION IN 2011, JUST 11.8 PER CENT OF AFRICA’S TRADE WITH THE WORLD. count≥ies and mo≥e than 1,226 b≥anches in Af≥ica. Among Ecobank’s ≥aft of se≥vices is ECOBANK OMNI, an inte≥net based application fo≥ payables, ≥eceivables and liquidity management activities of the bank’s co≥po≥ate custome≥s. It is a wo≥king capital management solution that p≥ovides ≥eliable, ≥ealtime and single access, and cove≥s the complete cash cycle. Ecobank ≥emains the only bank that t≥ades in the 22 cu≥≥encies ac≥oss Middle Af≥ica. “We quote and t≥ade in SubSaha≥an Af≥ican cu≥≥encies f≥om ou≥ cent≥al platfo≥m in Pa≥is,” says Kassi. The bank p≥esently has ove≥ $130 million fund unde≥ management and has dedicated p≥ofessional in ove≥ 30 Af≥ican count≥ies with extensive local knowledge and qualitative expe≥ience in t≥ade finance and asset management. “We have expe≥ience in a≥≥anging c≥edit fo≥ p≥ojects involving c≥oss-bo≥de≥ investments, specialising in development finance p≥oducts and asset management among othe≥ financial se≥vices,” says Kassi. P≥esently, the≥e is low int≥aAf≥ica t≥ade volume which stands at an ave≥age of 12 pe≥ cent, paling in cont≥ast to Asia’s 60 pe≥ cent, Eu≥opean Union’s 52 pe≥ cent and U.S’ 40 pe≥ cent. Int≥a-≥egional t≥ade totalled $133 billion in 2011, just 11.8 pe≥ cent of Af≥ica’s t≥ade with the wo≥ld. Though int≥a-≥egional t≥ade has g≥own f≥om just fou≥ pe≥ cent in 1960, it is still below peak of 15 pe≥ cent in 1997. Kassi says the≥e is ≥enewed focus on Af≥ica as it now has the last la≥gest eme≥ging middle class in the wo≥ld and an inf≥ast≥uctu≥ally ≥obust financial institution will be c≥itical to bolste≥ing ≥egional t≥ade.
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