MANSA is a repository platform which provides a single source of primary data required for the conduct of customer due diligence on African entities; Financial Institutions, Corporates and SMEs. The platform also provides complementary collection of information on investment in Africa, country profile and traded products/ services of African countries; enabling insights into Africa and deepening positive perceptions of the continent, thereby altering the risk perceptions of Africa and significantly addressing de-risking of the continent, and ultimately promoting and increasing trade in Africa.
By way of background, the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism (“AML/CFT”) reforms and enforcement of ever increasing regulations, laws, and principles at national, regional and global levels have imposed additional financial burden on both financial services industry and their clients in the form of high cost of conducting customer due diligence and Know Your Customer (KYC). The costs are both direct and indirect.
These developments have had undue adverse impact on banks and other institutions in Africa which incur a higher cost of funding, and other significant hurdles such as access to foreign currency, due to the perceived high risk of conducting business with African counterparties. As compliance costs rise, Africa faces reduced access to trade finance services, including letters of credit services; cuts in trade and project finance; higher costs of trade and project finance; and reduced export competitiveness, especially for non-traditional exports given higher costs of export finance.
Therefore, access to Customer Due Diligence information on African counterparties will play a significant role in lowering the risk perception of African entities as well as reducing cost of compliance. Further, a reduction in the cost of compliance will potentially reduce the cost of trade finance in Africa and, therefore, increase access to funding as well as will create confidence among global banks and financial institutions, serving as an incentive for them to deepen relationships in the African trade finance space (and rejoin the African trade finance space for the few which have already exited).
MANSA Repository derives its name from Mansa Musa, the King of Mali (1312–1337), who was the pioneer of trade in Africa. During Mansa Musa’s reign, trading patterns in West Africa were so established and thus placed Africa (Timbuktu) on the world map because of trading manufactured goods for gold and by revealing the continent’s riches.
MANSA as a Collaborative Strategic Partnership
Afreximbank has taken a lead role, in partnership with the African Development Bank , African Central Banks, and other international and national strategic partners to launch MANSA, a collaborative CDD/KYC information repository platform with a special emphasis on African financial institutions and corporates to enable global institutions, partners and counterparties to access African entities’ CDD profiles and information as well as leverage the platform to conduct customer due diligence on African entities; Financial institutions, Corporates and SMEs.
MANSA will serve as the primary repository and a reliable source of Customer Due Diligence information, with respect to African corporates, financial institutions, parastatals and related entities. The goal of MANSA platform is to facilitate access to information necessary for conducting Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti – Money Laundering (AML) and Counter Terrorism evaluations thereby reducing compliance costs with respect to African trade and project finance transactions.