BANQUE Centrale de Tunisie (BCT) has officially become the thirteenth Central Bank member to join the Pan African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS), marking a significant stride towards bolstering cross-border payment efficiency and promoting financial integration across the African continent.
‘PAPSS represents a pivotal platform for enhancing economic cooperation and facilitating seamless financial transactions within Africa,’ stated Marouane El Abassi, Governor of Banque Centrale de Tunisie. ‘BCT’s inclusion underscores our commitment to advancing regional integration efforts and fostering economic growth both domestically and continentally.’
The Pan African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS), developed by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in collaboration with the African Union and the AfCFTA Secretariat, aims to streamline intra-African trade and payments in African currencies. By uniting central banks from diverse African regions, PAPSS addresses the longstanding challenges hindering efficient cross-border payment services for African businesses and individuals.
‘We are thrilled to welcome Banque Centrale de Tunisie into the PAPSS network as the first central bank from North Africa to join,’ expressed George Elombi, Executive Vice President of Afreximbank. ‘BCT’s participation signifies a significant step towards realising our shared goals of enhancing financial integration and driving economic development across Africa.’
This sentiment was echoed by Mike Ogbalu III, CEO of PAPSS, who emphasised the transformative potential of the collaboration. ‘BCT’s inclusion underscores the growing recognition of PAPSS’s role in simplifying cross-border payments and fostering trade and investment flows within Africa,’ noted Ogbalu.
Joining PAPSS under the commercial bank settlement model, Banque Centrale de Tunisie aims to preserve foreign currency reserves and promote the use of the Tunisian Dinar for cross-border payments within Africa. This strategic decision is expected to enhance the value of Tunisia’s currency and reduce reliance on foreign currencies in the long run.
‘We see PAPSS as a crucial mechanism for expanding Tunisia’s economic footprint within Africa,’ remarked Ben Rejeb, Minister of Trade & Export Development. ‘By simplifying cross-border transactions and reducing transaction costs, PAPSS offers significant opportunities for Tunisian businesses to thrive in the African market.’
With BCT’s entry into the PAPSS network, Tunisian commercial banks can now initiate their onboarding process onto the system, with full support and assistance from PAPSS experts.
Since its inception two years ago, PAPSS has steadily expanded its reach across Africa, establishing itself in four regions and welcoming 13 central banks as members. With further central bank memberships anticipated in the coming year, PAPSS continues to play a pivotal role in advancing financial integration and economic growth across the African continent.