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Sola David-Borha oversees Standard Bank in 19 countries across Africa. Picture: SUPPLIED/AFRICA.COM
Sola David-Borha oversees Standard Bank in 19 countries across Africa. Picture: SUPPLIED/AFRICA.COM

In this exclusive interview, Africa.com chair and executive editor Teresa Clarke interviews Sola David-Borha, chief executive – Africa region, Standard Bank, at the 2019 World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town.

David-Borha oversees Standard Bank in 19 countries across the 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 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.

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David-Borha also speaks about the largest foreign direct investments in Africa today, including the $20bn natural gas investment in Mozambique. She put the size of that investment into perspective by pointing out that Mozambique’s entire gross domestic product (GDP) is about $14bn, so this one investment alone is transformative for the Mozambican economy.

She provides a current sense of the economic prospects for a range of African countries, including Nigeria, SA, Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia, based on macroeconomic trends and further informed by her vantage point of 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, to achieve the continent’s full economic potential.

This article was paid for by Africa.com.