Welcome to the June 2019 edition of INTO AFRICA, a publication written by the professionals, for professionals, investors, policymakers … Advancing and providing fresh insight into Africa’s emerging markets through renowned thought leadership and peer-to-peer knowledge-sharing. The edition is titled: African Banking: Emerging Growth.

African countries have made progress in strengthening their banking sectors and most have adopted several new regulations, such as the clarification of the definition of systemically important institutions in line with the Basel Committee recommendations, and the establishment of a sound emergency liquidity assistance framework. Many Africa banks are transitioning to the International Financial Reporting Standard 9 (IFRS 9). These developments will help to consolidate the balance sheets of the continent’s banks and address current vulnerabilities of the region’s banking sector. In addition, banks in African countries have already started to prepare for technological disruptions by upgrading banking services that are extended to retail and SME clients. Mobile banking would enable banks to retain existing clients while facilitating greater financial inclusion among the unbanked population. However, authorities would need to protect banking systems from the negative effects of technological disruption that could reduce the quality of banking services and result in weaker and more vulnerable banking systems.

African countries report strong economic growth and have low levels of banking penetration which, coupled with young and rapidly expanding populations, should combine to provide an attractive operating environment for bank development. In addition, banks will also see a growing demand for the region’s infrastructure finance and regional trade finance, particularly now that 49 countries have signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. However, region bank risk remains elevated due to weak economic and business environments and this is putting pressure on earnings, liquidity, asset quality, and capitalization.

JANINE DOW (Senior Director, Banks – EMEA at Fitch Ratings) starts the discourse by exploring the growing trends and operating model of the Pan-African Banking Groups. GONCALO FALCAO (Partner, Mayer Brown LLP, Brazil) looks at Angola banking system and stated that the banks are adopting modern technological platforms for interaction with customers, still struggles with a very fragile economy.

In the edition, we bring you exclusive interviews with the bank’s Chief Executives: MOHAMED EL KETTANI (Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, ATTIJARIWAFA Bank Morocco), ANDREW BAINBRIDGE (Group Chief Executive Officer, SBM Holding Ltd Mauritius), ABDULMAJID MUSSA NSEKELA (Chief Executive Officer, CRDB BANK Tanzania) and JOAO FIGUEIREDO (Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, MOZA BANCO Mozambique).