Lusaka, Friday, April 10, 2020: The COMESA Regional Payment and Settlement System (REPSS) has recorded over $138 million dollars and nearly one million Euros in value transacted through the nine participating Central Banks over the last five years ending 31 January 2020.
According to the Executive Secretary of the COMESA Clearing House (CCH) Mr. Mahmood Mansoor, this value is expected to grow as more Central Banks from within and outside the COMESA region have shown interest to join.
The nine countries whose Central Banks are on the system are Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Eswatini, Uganda and Zambia Central Banks of Burundi, Djibouti, Sudan and Zimbabwe are in advanced stages of preparations for live operations.
According to Mr Mansoor, the Central Banks of Tunisia and Somalia have been engaged by the CCH for admission. Non-COMESA countries such as Nigeria and Ghana have expressed keen interest to join the REPSS.
“With the nine Central Banks on the live platform, and new ones coming on board, the value of transactions processed on the system expected rise” Mr Mansoor notes.
REPSS is a Multilateral Netting System with End-Day Settlement in a single currency. It allows regional trade transactions using local currencies thus reducing dependency on dollars and euros. This cuts on collateral requirements as central banks are directly involved in the system and trade is mainly amongst members.
“Member States have embraced the system as it boosts regional trade by eliminating mistrust among traders as their respective Central Banks are involved,” Mr. Mansoor says. Currently, the Bank of Mauritius acts as Settlement Bank of the system.
At the July 2018 COMESA Summit, the Heads of State and Government urged Member States whose Central Banks had not yet met the requirements for joining REPSS to do so and start transacting.
The leaders call was motivated by the need to stimulate economic growth through enhanced intra-regional trade by enabling importers and exporters to pay and receive payment for goods and services through an efficient and cost-effective platform.