Kenya’s NCBA Bank is planning to partner with Chinese fintech firms to boost Sino-Africa trade. NCBA Bank is the third largest banking institution in East Africa by assets.
Previously, the bank told a Chinese media report that it also aims to facilitate financial transactions and settlements between China and the east African countries.
Currently, talks with Chinese firms are at an early stage. John Gachora, group managing director at NCBA Bank, told the media that, “We are actively looking for opportunities to partner with Chinese fintechs because some of our customers who are Chinese as well as African traders have requested us to provide them with appropriate financial solutions for international trade.”
NCBA Bank has a strong presence in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ivory Coast. Gachora said that China’s economic role in global commerce cannot be overlooked by commercial banks, the media reported.
China has been Africa’s largest trading partner for eight consecutive years. According to data from the Department of African Affairs at China’s Foreign Ministry, Sino-Africa trade has grown from $765 million to $170 billion over the last four decades—reflecting a 200-fold increase.
Last year, trade export and import volumes between China and Africa increased significantly. The top beneficiary countries of the trade Sino-Africa trade are Angola, South Africa, Congo, DRC, Zambia, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, South Sudan, Guinea, Zimbabwe, Eritrea, Namibia, Niger and the Central African Republic.
China has frequently called for strengthening bilateral ties with Africa. Chinese President Xi Jinping announced eight initiatives directed toward improving Africa and China’s relations. The initiatives also comprise investments in healthcare, education, security and cultural exchanges among others.