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Financial Services Industries Ghana Sub-Saharan Africa North Africa Payment Currencies Finance

Ghana Pan African Payments Settlement System (PAPSS) Update

This report updates one from May 2022 regarding the rollout of the Pan African Payment Settlement System or PAPSS. 

PAPSS is a cross-border, financial market infrastructure run by the African Export Import Bank or Afrexim.  It enables payment transactions across Africa without the need for transactions to pass through correspondent banks outside of Africa. PAPSS ensures instant or near-instant transfers of funds between originators in one African country and beneficiaries in another.  It has been developed to help support increased trade and financial transactions between and among African countries. 

This system can directly benefit U.S. companies operating in Africa as they seek to obtain payment for their cross-border sales of goods and services to partners in other African countries.  It can also assist American multinationals with multiple African operations which may need to transfer funds or make other payments to their regional affiliates in various African currencies. 
Afrexim has now incorporated 10 African central banks into the PAPSS and forecasts that the rest of Africa’s central banks will join by 2024.   The current participants include the central banks of Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Djibouti.  In addition, in October 2023, the 15 countries of the Caribbean Community or CARICOM joined the PAPSS network to facilitate intra-regional trade transactions.  This follows a 2022 MOU between PAPPS and BUNA, the cross-border and multi-currency payment system owned by the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF).

The full list of commercial banks in those countries in which transactions can be initiated can be found here.  In West Africa, for example, banks such as Ecobank, Zenith, Standard Chartered, GCB, ABSA, Stanbic IBTC Bank, UBA, Access Bank, Sterling Bank, and CalBank, among others, are linked into PAPSS so far.  Ghana’s first transaction linked to PAPSS occurred in March ‘23. In it, a Ghanaian company initiated a supplier payment from GCB in Ghanaian Cedis to a recipient in Nigeria, who was paid in Nigerian Naira.  
For more information about developments related to, and commercial opportunities arising from, the African Continental Free Trade Area, contact Commercial Service Ghana at Click here for additional market intelligence.