The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) Business Council (CBC) has started the validation exercise for the Comesa Digital Integrated Common Payment Policy for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
The development follows a public-private dialogue meeting on January 20 in Kigali, Rwanda, which was held in partnership with the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB).
In a statement made available to Business News yesterday, CBC Digital Financial Inclusion programme manager Jonathan Pinifolo, a Malawians, said this is expected to help in streamlining and transforming predominantly cash-based MSMEs into digitally enabled ones to access and use a wide range of digital financial services (DFS)
“The aim is to empower MSMEs with DFS that are available, accessible, affordable and interoperable particularly real-time payments and cross-border retail payments that are transparent and interoperable,” he said.
CBC chief executive officer Sandra Uwera is quoted in a statement as having said that affordable Internet, digital platforms and digital skills are critical to unlocking the potential of digital financial innovation of MSMEs across the Comesa region.
On his part, TDB president and chief executive officer Admassu Tadesse observed that innovation in financial services is essential for expanding financial inclusion.
Malawi, alongside Rwanda, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, Egypt, Mauritius, Ethiopia and Tanzania have been earmarked for a pilot study.