Growth in SWIFT’s business in Africa outpaces global growth; Nigeria beats rest of Africa

Vibrant transaction growth figures provide evidence of Africa’s positive economic story and underscore the rising importance of the region for SWIFT

Johannesburg, 7 May 2014 – SWIFT announces today that total African transaction volumes over the SWIFT network grew by 17% in the year to March 2014, making it the fastest growing region for SWIFT. Global traffic volumes grew by 9.7% in the same time period, whilst traffic in the Asia Pacific region rose by 10.9% and in the Americas by 9.8%.

Nigeria in particular demonstrated very strong growth. In the 12 months to March, payments traffic grew by 42% while securities traffic rose by 29.5%. Over the last four years, Nigeria’s SWIFT traffic has risen by 91%.

“SWIFT data has been independently proved to be closely correlated to economic activity through the development of the SWIFT Index*,” says Hugo Smit, Head of Africa South. “Rising SWIFT traffic volumes are therefore an indicator of economic growth. The figures revealed today show strong organic growth across Africa and in Nigeria particularly, and serve as validation of the positive growth trends we are witnessing in the region.

The figures are particularly relevant, being published as the World Economic Forum gathers in Abuja, Nigeria to discuss how to sustain Africa’s remarkable growth while creating jobs and prosperity for all of the continent’s citizens. The Nigerian data is especially interesting in light of the recent rebasing of Nigeria’s economy to make it the largest economy in Africa.

Across Africa, the growth in SWIFT’s message businesses has been led by the payments markets, which saw double digit growth of more than 20% in the 12 months to March 2014. This was followed by securities traffic, which grew by more than 13% in the same period. This compares with payments growth of 7.5% and securities growth of 14% globally.

Smit says: “Africa is one of the most dynamic and fast growing regions in the world today and in many aspects is leading the world in regional development projects that will help to boost intra-Africa trade and drive economic growth even further.”

SWIFT’s growth on the African continent is spread across the global messaging network’s traditional financial message-based business (including payments, securities, treasury and trade transactions) and in rapidly expanding businesses such as consulting and services, business intelligence, and connectivity solutions. SWIFT is also involved in many of Africa’s regional harmonisation projects, including the Southern African Development Community, the West African Monetary Zone and the East African Community.

Source: SWIFT

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