The Standard Bank East Africa Forum 2017 opened yesterday in Johannesburg, South Africa with a call to journalists to have an in-depth understanding of banking operations and opportunities for business.
In her speech, Standard Bank Group head of media relations-Africa Region Kate Johns called for building relations and sharing insurance insights between the bank, which is one of Africa’s largest bank, and the media.
“East Africa [including Malawi] is quite a unique space and a unique part of the Standard Bank Group. East Africa is the largest contributor of Standard Bank revenue,” she said in her opening remarks at a conference that has attracted journalists and bank staff from 17 East African countries.
Johns said the purpose of the forum is to provide a platform for the bank to outline the trends, operations and success stories in 20 countries it operates in.
One of the presenters, Stuart Theobald, former editor, investigative journalist and columnist for Johannesburg’s Business Day newspaper said the forum will enable journalists to understand how banking operates in Africa.
Also speaking at the forum, the bank’s head of commercial banking for the rest of Africa Manessah Alagbaoso called on African countries to trade with each other, saying intra-Africa trade is minimal at around 12 percent.
“Businesses in Africa are not trading with one another. We (African countries) mostly import consumables that can be manufactured in Africa,” he said, adding that, for example, there is no reason for Kenya to export flowers to Europe instead of African countries.
Standard Bank Group has worked with East Africa Media Forum since 2009 to deepen relations.