Richard Willsher
Richard Willsher

Regional e-FX perspective on sub-Saharan Africa

Although dazzled by its own diversity, hampered by economics, politics, poverty and lack of infrastructure, sub-Saharan Africa is a continent full of e-FX possibilities as Richard Willsher discovers.

First Published: e-Forex Magazine 73 / Regional eFX Perspective / September, 2016

Consider this – according to World Bank figures, sub-Saharan Africa has a population of around of around 1 billion people. Yet the African Development Bank estimates that only about a quarter of these people have bank accounts. At the same time there are more than 50 countries and a variety of currencies.  Overlay this with the desire of many in Africa to hold US dollars, euros, Swiss Francs or other hard currencies and the region has vast needs for forex services of different sorts.  Yet, despite the continent’s currency needs, only one African country and currency make it into the BIS Triennial Central Bank Survey of foreign exchange and OTC derivatives markets in 2016; South Africa and the Rand.    However there is perhaps one startling and significant statistic about the region that stands out like a technological beacon that signals the way forward for the development of e-trading of foreign exchange. The penetration of mobile phone use is approaching 100 per cent....continued

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