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Agenda

Agenda CTA

8:00am -9:00am

Light breakfast and registration

9:00am -9:15am

Welcome

9:15am -10:00am

Resilience in global recession: the growth of nations

Economic activity in sub-Saharan Africa is projected to grow at around 4 percent in 2023/24, according to the world bank, as momentum slows amid a downturn in global economic activity and recession or stagnation in the US and Europe. Continued supply constraints, outbreaks of new coronavirus variants, regional conflicts, high inflation, and rising financial risks due to high and increasing sovereign debt levels, will all drag on growth in the region. Growth in countries will vary with SA 1.4, Nigeria 3.1 and Mozambique 5.0. That the continent is growing four times faster than the US and Europe, despite higher food and fuel prices and reduced foreign financing flows amid a tightening of global financial conditions, is a positive sign of the region’s resilience. The creation of the pan African free trade area and the development of currency unions is also a positive step for the region. In this keynote session the Economist Intelligence Unit analyses the current economic data and delivers predictions on the trajectories of markets and nations across Africa.

10:00am -10:45am

Strategies for strong dollar and hard currency shortages in local markets

The surge in the US dollar is being felt keenly throughout EMEA, with the greenback rising 5.5% in value in Q3 2022 and strengthening against all currencies. Whilst the euro has some resilience to stem depreciation through monetary interventions, central banks in emerging economies and complex countries across Africa are at the sharp end of weakening local currencies. This currency crunch, coupled with ongoing hard currency shortages due to dollar outflows, dwindling foreign reserves and rising inflation in Africa, are creating a challenging environment for treasurers managing in-country liquidity risks.  Companies operating in Africa, both multinational and regional, are facing challenging circumstances in the preservation of value as they distribute trapped funds in local currencies. In this session, treasurers in the region discuss their local currency cash management strategies and the measures they are taking to hedge and mitigate ongoing currency risks.

10:45am -11:15am

Networking break

11:15am -12:00pm

Managing risks to liquidity and funding to optimise working capital efficiency

Liquidity management and ensuring that business units have enough working capital for operations in Africa, and raising finance where necessary, is a core function of treasury. Risks to liquidity and working capital are many, including regulatory interventions and market movements that can cause volatility and disrupt funding flows. In the current environment, with supply shortages and inflationary pressures, as well as money controls, the task of maintaining working capital equilibrium is challenging. In this session leading regional treasurers discuss their strategies for managing liquidity risk and working capital in different scenarios, including multinational and dollar flows and local currency contexts. Also under discussion are the current conditions for raising funds from both local and international liquidity sources in a rising rate environment, and the role of sustainable finance in the funding mix.

12:00pm -12:45pm

Next generation payment technologies and fintech partnerships

A slew of new payment technologies are entering the treasury market including real time payments, digital currency payments and digital cross border payments. The correspondence banking model is giving way to a new payments messaging upgrade in ISO2022. Under the hood, APIs linked to ERP systems are now able to generate payments directly to client and supplier accounts. In parallel, virtual bank accounts and enhanced bank account management systems offer greater enhanced cash visibility for treasury. In the back office, STP AP/AR technologies offer enhanced cash cycle management. Yet many transaction processes in the region still require manual intervention and are subject to regulatory approvals. Fintechs partnerships to accelerate payments innovation and solutions in treasury markets are increasingly being seen.  In this session treasurers discuss the benefits of payments transformation in African treasury operations, the local challenges in transformation from the old to the new, how fintechs help, and the skills and resources required by treasury teams to upgrade. 

12:45pm -1:45pm

Lunch

1:45pm -2:30pm

Evolving operational models for regional treasury efficiencies

The evolution of working patterns and practices in the post pandemic period, together with technological advances is shaping the organisation of treasury operations in the region. For companies that have onshore treasury centres, local and in-country organisation of treasury functions have been greatly enhanced by cloud technologies that allow for enterprise resources to be available in any location, enabling a decentralised treasury model. For multinational companies that operate centralised treasury models in offshore centres, operational efficiency across several business markets is a core driver. Both centralised and decentralised models work and have benefits in different operational scenarios. In this session treasurers discuss what has changed and is still changing in operations and the benefits of different models and practices to managing treasury activity in the region. The panel will also consider the embedding of ESG metrics in operations. 

2:30pm -3:15pm

Digital transformation in treasury management: regional challenges

The digital treasury is gathering momentum in African operations. Electronic signatures and cloud document management systems gained traction in treasury during the pandemic, as manual processes were digitised for remote operations. The digitisation journey is a long road, encompassing cash forecasting, bank account management and payments and liquidity risk management, rolled together in a TMS or standalone software joined to ERP systems via APIs. Whilst many treasuries have embarked on some level of digitisation, few in the region have achieved a digital treasury transformation. In the current inflationary environment, capital spend and investment in tech may be slowing, even if efficiencies offer operational savings. In this session treasurers discuss their stages in the digitisation and journey and the unique challenges towards digital transformation in the region.

3:15pm -3:45pm

Networking break

3:45pm -4:30pm

Case Study: Nigeria LNG

In this case study the treasury team at Nigeria LNG, a multibillion gas liquefaction and distribution plant, tell the story of how they were able to create instant real time liquidity levers via money market funds by developing APIs to enable millions of dollars flow between cash accounts and MM funds on an intraday basis. The technology eradicated charges for and interest payments in money movements by  automating a manual process and consolidating trades in a single account. This seismic transformation from a protracted cumbersome and labour intensive process prone to error, to a hyper efficient error free and instant automated digital process has given the treasury team precise and powerful liquidity controls with significant efficiency savings, enabling enhanced cash allocation, reporting, and visibility.   

4:30pm -5:30pm

Regional Roundtables

In the closing session, leading regional experts host delegate discussion groups on the economic and market trends in the four corners of Africa, and the impacts of government policies, central banks, and major market events in 2022/23. The impacts of the pan-African free trade agreement and currency unions, and tax reforms, also provide an important context for the evolution of treasury in African regions. The session will rotate after 30 minutes, so delegates will have the opportunity to take part in discussions on 2 regions. 

a.West Africa

b.South Africa

c.East Africa

d.North Africa

5:30pm

Closing remarks

5:40pm -6:30pm

Networking reception

6:30pm

Conference close