Governor of the BCT Marouen Abbassi said Thursday, that the Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT) in conjunction with the central banks of other African nations seeks to increase collaboration in the fields of finance, integration, and modernisation of African payment systems, with the aim of creating an African Central Bank.
While delivering his remarks on behalf of President of the Tunisia, Kais Said, at the opening of the international conference on Financing Investment and Trade in Africa (FITA 2021), held on June 24 to 26 in Tunis.
Abassi highlighted the need to mobilise multilateral financial institutions to back public investment in the digital sector.
The World Bank expects investments ranging between $80 and $100 billion in Africa over the next ten years, he added.
While the IMF projects that the total additional financing, required by African countries between 2021-2025 will reach $285 billion, half of which is intended for countries with limited resources.
The BCT governor pointed out that efforts should be directed in the coming period towards multiplying air, sea and land links between African countries, enhancing the presence of banks to promote enterprise and fast-tracking the establishment of free trade areas at the regional and continental level.
He noted that, with the exclusion of Arab countries, Tunisian transactions with the continent are very limited and represent only 2% of Tunisia’s exports and 0.5% of its imports.
AU financial institutions have noted the dearth of trade among member nations on the continent. The value of the continent’s economy, including trade in goods, does not exceed 2.4% of the world trade in 2020. Therefore, he said African countries face major challenges, including debt control and the revival of other economic activities.
Abassi told newsmen that, unlike insurance companies, Tunisian banks have not mobilised enough investment for the African continent.
In a related development, the second Continental Seminar, hosted by the Central Bank of Egypt, on the theme “High Level of Non Performing Loans in Africa: Determinants and Implications for Financial Stability and the Real Economy” in Africa is scheduled for 28-30 June 2021.
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