CNN’s Marketplace Africa offers viewers a unique window into African business on and off the continent. This week, CNN’s Maggie Lake speaks to Arnold Ekpe, group chief executive officer of African banking giant Ecobank.
- Ekpe says Africa needs to understand that it should ‘move a little bit faster’…
Excerpts of CNN’s interview with Arnold Ekpe…
CNN: In terms of growth opportunities, what are the trends that are going to dominate in banking and how do they differ from what we see elsewhere?
Arnold Ekpe: The differences are very important and they’re quite fundamental: In Europe and the more developed markets the key challenge is keeping costs down, whereas in Africa the key challenge for us is growing.
Africa is under-banked — for example the banking penetration in most of our markets is less than 10%. If you look at the demographics, I think 50% of the population is 20 years or younger. The economy is one of the fastest-growing in the world, according to statistics.
So all the stories you see in Africa are about growth, and taking advantage of that growth, and that’s what we’re trying to do.
CNN: How do you capture this generation, many of whom may not have any bank account at all? Do you take the traditional measures or do you hop forward to spaces that some of the traditional Western banks are just getting around to, such as mobile banking?