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Swift message traffic grows 4.4% in Africa

Swift message traffic grows 4.4% in Africa

18 June 2019 | 5 min read

Figures released at Swift’s 26th African Regional Conference show much stronger growth in particular regions, including in West Africa at 29%

Accra, 18 June 2019 – Data released today at the Swift African Regional Conference shows that Swift FIN messaging traffic in Africa has grown by 4.4% in the year-to-date. Figures are even stronger in the West African Monetary Zone, where Swift traffic increased by 29.0%, far exceeding Swift global traffic growth of 6.7% for the same period. Ghana and Nigeria saw growth of 32.1% and 24.5% respectively.

Swift, a global financial messaging provider, published the data today at the 26th Swift African Regional Conference in Accra, Ghana. The President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo, will deliver the keynote address; Ade Ayeyemi, Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank, will close the event. They will join many other senior executive speakers from across the continent at Africa’s leading financial services event.

According to the latest Swift figures, total traffic growth in Africa has decelerated since this time last year, when it reached 16.7%. This is likely driven by slower economic growth in several African countries, including South Africa. Swift traffic growth in SADC dropped to 1.6% from 17.4% in the same period in 2018. Traffic growth in South Africa specifically has slowed to 2.9%, down from 14.4% at this time last year.  

The overall figure does not, however, reflect the strong results in many African markets. In addition to countries in West Africa seeing robust growth such as Gambia at 18.9%, Liberia at 13.8% and Sierra Leone at 22.6%, several markets in East Africa also experienced strong traffic growth. Kenya and Rwanda saw an increase of 9.4% and 37.1% respectively, versus the same period in 2018.

Past academic analyses indicate that Swift data is closely correlated to economic activity.  Rising Swift traffic volumes can be an indicator of economic growth. The data released today therefore indicates a growth projection for many markets in Africa and reflects the challenge that some others may be facing.

Denis Kruger, Head of Sub-Sahara Africa, Swift said: “Africa is an important market for Swift and a critical component of our business. Even in the face of global economic challenges, many African countries continue to outperform Swift’s global traffic growth. Africa’s financial industry is a key enabler of economic development. The Swift African Regional Conference is therefore an important platform for financial services stakeholders from across Africa to share ideas and ultimately define the future of financial services in Africa.” 

Press Contacts:

Atmosphere Communications
Claire Williams
+27 (0)83 928 1962

Eva Khosa
+27 (0)76 590 8120

Notes to editors:

Swift is holding its 26th African Regional Conference on 18-20 June 2019 in Accra, Ghana. The event will bring together more than 500 policy makers, industry leaders and the broader financial community from across the African continent to discuss the most significant challenges and opportunities facing the continent.

The President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo will deliver the keynote address at the conference.

Swift Business Intelligence

The Swift data provided here is based on unique data and analysis from Swift Business Intelligence. This portfolio of tools, including analytics, insights and economic indicators, provides granular detail on Swift traffic across a variety of metrics, including currency, product type and value, and enables financial institutions to track market evolution. This helps them to make fact-based business decisions and more efficient use of their resources, and to identify market trends.

About Swift

Swift is a global member owned cooperative and the world’s leading provider of secure financial messaging services. We provide our community with a platform for messaging and standards for communicating, and we offer products and services to facilitate access and integration, identification, analysis and regulatory compliance.

Our messaging platform, products and services connect more than 11,000 banking and securities organisations, market infrastructures and corporate customers in more than 200 countries and territories. While Swift does not hold funds or manage accounts on behalf of customers, we enable our global community of users to communicate securely, exchanging standardised financial messages in a reliable way, thereby supporting global and local financial flows, as well as trade and commerce all around the world.

As their trusted provider, we relentlessly pursue operational excellence; we support our community in addressing cyber threats; and we continually seek ways to lower costs, reduce risks and eliminate operational inefficiencies. Our products and services support our community’s access and integration, business intelligence, reference data and financial crime compliance needs. Swift also brings the financial community together – at global, regional and local levels – to shape market practice, define standards and debate issues of mutual interest or concern. Swift’s strategic five year plan, Swift2020, challenges Swift to continue investing in the security, reliability and growth of its core messaging platform, while making additional investments in existing services and delivering new and innovative solutions.

Headquartered in Belgium, Swift’s international governance and oversight reinforces the neutral, global character of its cooperative structure. Swift’s global office network ensures an active presence in all the major financial centres.