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The Business Case for a Regional Digital Payments Policy for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in COMESA

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) represent 90 percent of Africa’s economy and employ 70 percent of the continent’s total population, a large proportion of which, is not connected to, and lacks the technical skills for using digital infrastructure. As a result of this, they are constrained, because they need access to buyers, information on products, pricing knowledge, standards requirements, buyer-seller relationships that are sustainable, i.e. a professional online interface with potential buyers.

This report by the Comesa Business Council provides a business case and policy framework for a digital integrated regional Common Payment Scheme for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) region. It is based on data that was collected and captured in 2019 and early 2020, which identified the digital payment systems as a focus area for improving the efficiency and performance of MSMEs in the region.