In this exclusive interview, Africa.com Chair and Executive Editor Teresa Clarke interview Sola David-Borha, Chief Executive, Africas Region Standard Bank at the 2019 World Economic Forum Africa in Cape Town.
David-Borha oversees Standard Bank in 19 countries across the African continent, including East, West, Central and Southern Africa. She speaks about the convergence of technology and how to remain relevant. Standard Bank is bringing fintech innovation into its fold through a variety of cutting edge investments that include mobile banking in Ethiopia and value-added services for digital payments, as well as cloud computing partnerships with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft.
David-Borha speaks about the largest foreign direct investment into Africa today, including the $20 billion natural gas investment into Mozambique. She put the size of that investment into perspective by pointing out that Mozambique’s entire GDP is about $14 billion, so this one investment alone is transformative for the Mozambique economy.
She provides a current sense of the economic prospects for a range of African countries including Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia based on macro-economic trends, and further informed by the vantage point from which she sits overseeing this pan-African banking institution’s operations throughout the continent.
The African Continental Free Trade Agreement, according to David-Borha, has good prospects for being adopted, and in turn, playing an important role in unifying the continent for the mutual benefit of all of its economies.
She commented on the importance of infrastructure investment, both traditional as well as digital, in order to achieve the continent’s full economic potential.