The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has partnered with tech-based working capital solutions provider Demica to roll out a new supply chain finance (SCF) platform across Africa.

The collaboration will see Demica license its technology platform to Afreximbank on a white-label basis. The solution will focus on approved payables financing, with coverage extended across Afreximbank’s member countries.

“This is an innovative partnership with Demica and leading African financial institutions,” says Gwen Mwaba, global head of trade finance at Afreximbank. “The product, which will deploy world-class technology and a collaborative delivery model, aligns with the bank’s vision of transforming Africa’s trade, and will contribute to achievement of the bank’s strategic objective of reducing the trade finance gap in Africa, especially for the SME segment.”

This partnership marks Demica’s first in the pan-African market. The fintech firm, which currently has over US$18.4bn of funded assets outstanding on its platform, currently provides the technology for supply chain finance programmes run by financial institutions including ING, Lloyds and BBVA.

“Demica has a strong track record of delivering white-labelled working capital solutions to financial institutions around the globe,” says Maurice Benisty, chief commercial officer of Demica. “We are excited to be supporting Afreximbank’s objective to expand trade in and with Africa.”

According to Afreximbank, Africa’s current share of global supply chain finance (SCF) transactions is approximately 1%. Despite this low level, Kanayo Awani, managing director of Afreximbank’s intra-African trade initiative, says that she sees a “favourable outlook” for the business as a result of ongoing economic development and the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which will increase the need for cross-border supply chain financing.

To drive greater take-up of SCF in the continent, the bank recently partnered with global factoring association FCI. Using a grant from the African Development Bank (AfDB), the two sides will work to raise awareness of the product through advisory and mentoring services to entrepreneurs, financiers and commercial banks.

Demica’s technology also underpins FCI’s FCIreverse payables finance platform. It says that the common technology will facilitate collaboration between Afreximbank, Demica, and FCI in promoting open account payables and receivables financing in Africa.