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Africa is fastest growing region for SWIFT payments

SWIFT, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, announced yesterday that its payment traffic volumes in Africa grew by 13.2% in the year to date. This compares with growth of 8.8% for SWIFT worldwide and surpasses payments traffic in other regions, with EMEA at 6.9%, the Americas at 12.1% and Asia Pacific at 12.6% growth.

In addition, SWIFT traffic between African countries recorded its highest ever growth rate underpinning the evolution of the intra-African transaction corridors, according to the member-owned cooperative of financial institutions.

The organisation also provided data on individual African countries, some of which indicate a “staggering pace of growth” in the year to date, compared to the previous 12 months:

  • payments traffic in Angola grew by more than 78%
  • payments traffic in Ghana rose by almost 30%
  • securities in Ghana rose by almost 55%
  • payment message traffic in Kenya rose by 23.1%
  • securities related growth in Kenya was up by a startling 122.3%
  • payments in Tanzania rose by 32.9%
  • securities in Tanzania increased by 45%
  • payments in Uganda were up by 17.5%
  • securities in Uganda rose by 31.6%.

Christian Sarafidis, deputy chief executive EMEA, SWIFT, said: “The figures revealed today show strong organic growth across Africa and in East Africa particularly, and serve as validation of the positive growth trends we are witnessing in the region.”

According to Hugo Smit, SWIFT's head of Sub-Sahara Africa, the organisation is investing more resources in supporting the local financial community in Africa and is opening new offices in West and East Africa.

SWIFT also noted an ongoing rebalancing between South Africa and other African nations, in terms of SWIFT traffic levels. In 2003, FIN traffic from South Africa represented 72% of total African volumes; as of Q1 2015, this had decreased to 53% if total traffic, with other African nations representing a larger proportion of total activity. The highest growth is recorded in Nigeria, which has an average yearly growth of 29.1% since 2013, and Ghana, with average growth of 27.2%.

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Cash & Liquidity Management
Cash & Liq. Mngm in Middle East & Africa
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