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Kenya outpaces Africa and world in SWIFT transactions growth

money transfer services
A display of local and global money transfer services. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenyan financial transaction messages through the global SWIFT network rose 9.4 per cent year-to-date compared to the same period last year, newly released data shows.

This was above the global and Africa average growth of 6.7 and 4.4 per cent respectively.

The increase in the messages in Rwanda was, however, higher at 37.1 per cent.

The organisation, which enables the global community of users to communicate securely by exchanging standardised financial messages in a reliable way, said for Africa there was a deceleration in the growth due to slower economic growth.

“Several markets in East Africa also experienced strong traffic growth. Kenya and Rwanda saw an increase of 9.4 per cent and 37.1 per cent respectively, versus the same period in 2018,” said the firm in a statement.

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“Total traffic growth in Africa has decelerated (to 4.4 per cent growth) since this time last year, when it reached 16.7 per cent.

This is likely driven by slower economic growth in several African countries, including South Africa.

“SWIFT traffic growth in SADC (Southern African Development Community) dropped to 1.6 per cent from 17.4 per cent in the same period in 2018.

“Traffic growth in South Africa specifically has slowed to 2.9 per cent down from 14.4 per cent at this time last year,” said the firm.

But it noted that figures were stronger in the West African Monetary Zone, where SWIFT traffic increased by 29.0 per cent, far exceeding SWIFT global traffic growth of 6.7 per cent for the same period.

Ghana and Nigeria saw growth of 32.1 per cent and 24.5 per cent, respectively. Gambia’s growth was at 18.9 per cent, Liberia at 13.8 per cent and Sierra Leone at 22.6 per cent.

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