FinMark Trust has been actively engaged in promoting Regional Financial Integration (RFI) in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) since 2010. It based its focus on the results of a baseline study conducted on the Finance and Investment Protocol (FIP), as well as other areas of regional financial integration. The initial study determined some indicators to measure the implementation of the FIP and recommended sets of indicators to measure regional financial integration through a Minister’s Dashboard, approved by Ministers of Finance in SADC Member States in 2011.
Complementarily, the study contracted to Imani looked at different financial institutions in the region and mapped their footprint and services and to assess the actual financial integration that is happening. These are institutions such as commercial banks, insurance companies, retailors, money transfer agencies or others. The overall purpose of the project was to assess and analyse the state of RFI in the SADC region. The study determined the level of actual RFI and, through detailed analysis, indicated the sectors and activities that effectively contribute to RFI.
Trade Finance was included in the most recent studies to reflect its importance in facilitating domestic and regional access to finance for SMMEs and larger firms. Additional indicators were to be developed in order to integrate Trade Finance into the FIP.
Imani Development’s background in trade facilitation and regional integration positioned us well to undertake an enquiry into the state of regional integration in SADC with special attention on the availability and accessibility of Trade Finance in the region.
- Literature review of relevant documents, policies, working papers, and academic literature
- Identifying and engaging with relevant stakeholders (bank- and non-bank financial institutions, private sector firms, umbrella bodies, etc) across the SADC region
- Physical and satellite interviews with financial institutions to facilitate data collection
- Collation, processing, and interpretation of collected data
- Formulation of relevant indicators to benchmark and measure RFI relating to Trade Finance in SADC
- Draft and final reporting