From Adapting to Change to Seizing the Opportunity: How Corporate Cash and Treasury Management is Changing in Africa
by Geoffrey Gursel, Vice President, Africa Sales, Treasury and Trade Solutions, Citi
Not even 15 years ago, multinational corporations looking to enter Africa trod cautiously, fearful of the known corruption and fraud in traditionally cash-based markets and the difficulty of working in a region whose banking and infrastructure was not nearly as sophisticated as the West’s. But as significant urbanisation, electronification and innovative leap-frogging continue, the requirements, strategies and expectations of regional corporate cash and treasury management are forced to evolve as well.
By now the opportunities in Africa that corporations like to see have been heavily reported — from significant economic and GDP growth to mobile money exploding across the continent to substantial regulatory reforms. Indeed more financial institutions are welcoming the opportunity to introduce corporations to the ‘new Africa’ and the related, but varied, banking and economic transformation of its core markets. A recent survey conducted by The Economist Group of 217 global companies based in 45 countries reveals that expansion in Africa is a priority for two-thirds of such organisations within the next decade.