The SWIFT African Regional Conference 2018 took place from the 20th-22nd June in Kigali, Rwanda.

Organised each year by SWIFT, the conference brings together the CEOs of over 500 African financial institutions from over 45 countries to discuss market infrastructures and trends in the banking sector.

Over the past few years, SONEMA has attended the conference in order to meet with our customers and partners.

This year, the key themes of the conferences were Blockchain and cryptocurrencies, cross-border payment compliancy and cybersecurity which is still a priority for banks.

Cross-border payments are developing rapidly in Africa with over 20% of payments sent by African banks now internal operations as opposed to 16.7% in 2013.

Although the American dollar is used less frequently (dropping from over 50% in 2013 to 45.1% in 2017) it is still the main international currency in Africa. We are also seeing an increased use of the Euro and regional African currencies with a decrease in the use of the Pound Stirling. The Euro is becoming more popular, with use increasing from 26.5% to 29.4%, while use of the Pound Stirling has decreased from 6.2% to 4.6%. At the same time, use of local currencies such as the CFA West African franc are on the rise.

SONEMA’s presence at the conference highlights once again our commitment to attending events organised by the banking industry to better understand developments in the banking sector in Africa and to support the current and future development of our customers.