Saturday, 20 November 2010

Western banks seek to gain stronger foothold in Africa

Africa's financial market is becoming more interesting to international banks and financial service providers as mobile phone usage increases. Further investment could change the dynamics of the remittance market.

The increase in mobile technology and telecommunications in Africa is attracting international banks and financial service providers to fuel investments. According to a British think tank on international development and humanitarian issues, the Overseas Development Institute, Africa has offered higher profits for multinational companies compared to the rest of the world for more than a decade.

There is emerging evidence that multinational businesses are seeking a greater stake in Africa, especially in financial services. Banks are responding to a growing demand for loans or investment accounts since Africans at home and abroad have started looking for more structured ways to do business.

Even remittances, money sent home by Africans living abroad, are beginning to recover in the aftermath of the global economic crisis. Remittances expert and head of the consultancy Developing Markets Associates, Leon Isaacs, told Deutsche Welle that the mobile phone and internet revolution makes market access in Africa possible. Any African who has a phone knows how to use it, but most of them do not have a bank account. Read more

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