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Accelerated cooperation crucial to boost cross-border trade finance – Eric Tsiri

Head of Enterprise Banking, Stanbic Bank Ghana, Eric Tsiri Head of Enterprise Banking, Stanbic Bank Ghana, Eric Tsiri

Eric Tsiri, Head of Enterprise Banking at Stanbic Bank Ghana, has called for accelerated collaboration and partnerships between fintechs and financial institutions in providing financing to SMEs to promote cross-border trade. Mr Tsiri made this statement during a panel discussion at the 3i Africa Summit at the Accra International Conference Center, Accra.

Speaking on ‘Enhancing SMEs for Cross-Border Trade: The Role of Strategic Partnerships in Driving Innovation and Reducing Costs and Risks for Banks’, Eric Tsiri noted: “It is well known that SMEs are the backbone of Africa’s economies remains a large percentage of employment and contributes significantly to GDP, and conversations like these help bring key stakeholders to the table to deliberate on key interventions that are critical to Africa’s economies. One of the most critical elements to consider in this conversation is financing.”

“Time is not our friend in making this work if we want our SMEs to compete in the global marketplace. What I think is needed is stronger and faster collaboration between fintechs, banks and regulators. We can develop a sector-specific approach using data from fintechs to build the capabilities of SMEs and finance them to take advantage of the large global market. If we build expertise in specific sectors, we can use the experience to cover other sectors. By doing this, we are finding crucial solutions for SMEs, sector by sector, because time is indeed not our best friend,” he stressed.

Eric Tsiri elaborated on what Stanbic Bank is doing to help build the capabilities of Ghanaian SMEs. He said: “At Stanbic Bank, we have introduced several interventions to support and finance SMEs, and at the heart of this is building the capacity of SMEs to access the financing options we provide.

We also continue to implement capacity building interventions through our Stanbic incubator, especially in the areas of good accounting practices and corporate governance. Through our trans-regional desk, we help SMEs gain access to different markets around the world. But more importantly, we are working with fintechs to build credit products using different data sources than we traditionally have.”

The 3i Africa Summit was organized by the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Development Bank Ghana (DBG) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) through its subsidiary Elevandi. The three-day event brought together key players from the financial, investment, policy regulatory and digital technology ecosystem to deliberate on conversations and promote strategic alliances to fuel Africa’s thriving digital economy and fintech sector.

The summit aimed to support the development of creative solutions specifically tailored to address Africa’s unique challenges, so that the continent can capitalize on its wealth of prospects.