• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

African bank managers urged to adopt innovative technologies to improve their competitiveness


Jun 7, 2024

BUJUMBURA, June 7th (ABP) – On Monday 3 June 2024, the Club of Bank and Credit Institution Managers in Africa, in collaboration with the Association of Banks and Financial Institutions of Burundi (ABEF), organised a conference-debate for bank managers in Burundi on the theme of “Strategy, governance and technology in banks in Africa”, a check on the site by ABP has revealed.

In her opening remarks, the vice-president of the Club of Heads of African Banks and Credit Institutions, Mrs. Trinitas Girukwishaka, recalled that the main objective of that conference was to strengthen the capacity of bank managers and encourage African banks to adopt innovative technologies to improve their competitiveness, operational efficiency and resilience in the face of future challenges.

She pointed out that improving modern technologies in banks will help them to understand and implement practices to promote sustainable and responsible growth.

Mrs. Girukwishaka pointed out that African banks are entering an era of heightened awareness of environmental and social issues. African banks are also being led to commit to sustainable growth by updating their sustainability strategies.  She urged the heads of African banks to work together to share best practice.

During his presentation, Professor Léonidas Ndayizeye, who spoke about strategy and governance in African banks, said that the strategy has enabled those banks to play a crucial role in the continent’s economic development by facilitating cross-border trade.

He pointed out that African banks have adopted strategies based on local market research, innovation and the use of technology. Those strategies make it possible to segment the market, study the competition, understand consumer behaviour and analyse the availability of technologies and infrastructures.

With regard to governance in African banks, he pointed out that the governance of banks in Africa has undergone significant change over the last few decades. That governance can be seen in the strengthening of regulations, improved transparency and the adoption of good governance practices.

Professor Ndayizeye cited a number of key challenges in terms of strategy, governance and the use of technology. In terms of strategy, he cited a number of major challenges, including political and economic risk, the entry of international banks and the fact that Africa has a variable regulatory environment.

In addition, he added, the challenges of transparency and compliance, corruption and fraudulent practices, concentration of power, and political and economic stability are challenges in terms of governance.

In terms of the use of technology, he cited the challenge of the security of information systems, the lack of quality staff and access to a state-of-the-art technological infrastructure.

To meet those challenges, African banks need to adopt innovative strategies, strengthen their governance practices and invest in technology and staff training, as well as favouring partnerships and collaboration to foster digital transformation and innovation.

Jonas Siliadin, a governance consultant and member of the Club of heads of banks and credit institutions in Africa ‘s ideas laboratory, who gave a presentation on technology in African banks, pointed out that banks are using innovative technologies in export, resource management, communication and risk management.

Mr. Siliadin took the opportunity to discuss the challenges facing African banks in terms of technology, in particular the profitability of their investments, controlling their technological trajectory, keeping their technological assessments up to date, and ensuring that their technological assessments are in line with their business model and strategic projections.

The very high cost of technology, the lack of skills and an often-neglected impact measurement are challenges that are linked to technology in African banks, he explained.

To overcome those issues and challenges, he pointed out, solutions must be found to reduce costs by moving from systematic competition to cooperation on a case-by-case basis, setting up a “technology” committee, developing skills in technology issues, especially in governance bodies, and shifting responsibility for technology from support functions to governance.