Standard Bank Group has expressed optimism that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement would help boost intra-African trade after its implementation next year.
The financial institution says the agreement will further drive growth and shield the region from downturns in other markets.
In a statement issued yesterday, Standard Bank Group Chief Executive for Africa Regions, Sola David-Borha says the bank has long believed in potential of the continent, and the stance is paying off.
“In the first half of 2019, 34 percent of our profits from banking activities came from the group’s Africa Regions businesses. We expect that proportion to keep growing for years to come, particularly as governments and large companies invest in the future,” reads the statement.
Standard Bank recently provided expansionary funding for multinationals and large domestic corporates worth R92 billion across the region.
It says the region’s economy is gaining serious traction.
This comes as the International Monetary Fund predicted to a 3.6 percent GDP growth in sub-Saharan Africa is in 2020 and 4.2 percent by 2024.
In addition, growth over the medium term is projected to average more than 5 percent for close to two-fifths of the region’s economies
The bank, then says investments in physical infrastructure, healthcare, education, and in digital infrastructure, seen in the Africa economy will deepen financial inclusion and enable e-commerce, leading to higher incomes and consumer spending.
“We are incredibly excited about the economic transformation we are witnessing as Africa continues to realise its potential. Encouragingly, the barriers to doing business on the continent are gradually being lowered,” reads the statement.