Dear Zimbo, check out ATG, the one-stop digital platform launched by Afreximbank to promote African trade

Leonard Sengere Avatar

Your favourite bank is back with some exciting news. The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) launched the Africa Trade Gateway (ATG) a couple of days ago. Don’t worry, we’ll get into what ATG is, you’ll understand as you read on.

ATG is a one-stop digital platform with information on rules that apply to thousands of products, customs procedures, market information and trends, and payment transfers

The ATG is a suite of five digital platforms that were designed as a single window. Why? – to support and promote African trade and the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

This ATG will allow businesses to easily and quickly access a range of trade-related services, such as customs clearance, payments, and logistics. The hope is that this will make it easier and cheaper for businesses to trade across borders, which will boost intra-African trade.

This should be great news for Zimbabwean companies stuck in a small landlocked country. Opening the door to increased exports means an addressable market larger than 16 million.

Organisations like ZimTrade exist to boost exports of Zimbabweans companies but ATG, in theory at least, could do more, quicker than they could.

Back to ATG

It is a suite of five digital platforms, as mentioned above. Here are the platforms:


MANSA is a due-diligence platform that helps people find information about African businesses. It has information about various African entities, financial institutions, corporations, and SMEs.

It also has information that is useful to those looking to invest in Africa, stuff like country profiles and traded products and services. Mind you, this can be African or foreign investors.

Now, if Zimbabwean startups don’t make it their priority to list on this platform, then they better not complain that investors don’t look their way.


PAPSS is a payment system that allows businesses to make payments in local currencies across Africa.

It was created to make it easier and cheaper for businesses to trade within Africa, and to help promote financial integration across the continent.

PAPSS was adopted by African Union heads of state in 2019, and it is currently operated out of Cairo.

There cannot be intra-African trade without an efficient payment platform. That said, I think we Zimbabweans have to curb our enthusiasm when it comes to the ‘payment in local currencies’ part.

The ZW$ is not really a currency, is it now? So, just expect to deal in USD.


It is a network for businesses and executives who want to trade and invest in Africa. It provides members with trade intelligence, advisory services, and networking opportunities. This helps members to discover new markets, grow their business, save time, access expert support, and connect with other businesses.

Membership is open to global industry leaders, African and foreign businesses, intergovernmental organizations, policymakers, and others who are “committed to unlocking growth and development in Africa.”


ATEX is an online marketplace for businesses in Africa. They say it is a B2B (business to business) and B2G (business to government) e-commerce platform.

It was launched in May 2022, and it helps small, medium, and large businesses to find new markets, optimize their supply chains, and procure basic commodities in bulk.

ATG Connect

It is a platform that connects businesses that need freight and logistics services with freight and logistics providers across Africa. It makes it easy for businesses to get quotes for the pickup and delivery of goods to and from any location in Africa, and it helps businesses to find the best deals.

All the above in one window

Afreximbank says customers can complete all their transactions within one window. You don’t need to hop around the platforms discussed above. You can access them all in one place.

Check it out for yourself here. Or conversely, type in in your browser and hit enter.

As someone pointed out, it was remiss of us to not mention just how much these services may be out of reach for most small businesses.


You can register as a Contributor, Verifier, Agent, Cooperative or Subscriber on MANSA for example.

If you choose to be a Subscriber, which allows you to view Customer Due Diligence and other information, it will cost this much per annum:

  • Basic Plan – $600
  • Gold Plan – $2400
  • Enterprise Plan – $10,500

If you choose to view just one profile on-demand, without the option to download it, that will cost you $50.

Many small businesses will find it hard to participate. However, one could just make sure their business information is captured by Contributors to the platform. After all, MANSA really is about investors finding businesses to invest in.

TRADAR Club should be inaccessible to many too. However, there is a free plan with limited features. That should help you determine whether it would make sense for you to pony up $1500 per year for a Standard Plan for example.

Some of the other platforms should be more accessible as they are targeted at small businesses.

ATG Connect

As you can see, the Basic, Standard and Gold plans are free to use. Of course free gets you limited access.

If you find value, you won’t mind paying $100 for the Platinum plan.

So, go check it out for yourself and see where your small business could find value.

Also read:

This is what the ‘capital and resources’ landscape looks like in Zim, are startups/innovators being funded?

Potraz and the UN’s ITU hosting a co-creation workshop to assess how Zim can promote innovation


What’s your take?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Vinceman

    I need to learn more please can you help.

    1. Leonard Sengere

      Visit and scroll around and see what makes sense. We’ve updated the article to show that some of the services are free, or more accurately, have free tiers.

  2. Angeline Karonga

    Can you please explain the fees on the services you highlighted, they don’t look friendly to SME participation in the Trade Game

    1. Leonard Sengere

      We’ve updated the article with that info.

    2. Critical Mass

      From the prices i can see, i can understand the sticker shock but i also think they are somewhat reasonable once you consider these are services aimed at the continent, not just zimbabwe. Maybe if some of these had monthly subs it would be better, but yeah, small time players, tuckshops and fly by nights need not apply😅! If you cant afford to plan or budget at least a year out, walk away

  3. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

    Those fees are not practical, not even by a long shot, especially given that is market is the whole of Africa I think they were a tad greedy.

  4. Michael

    There should be no outright joining fees. It should be like eBay or Amazon or Alibaba.

    Those companies link you with the seller, deal with payments and sort out transport while taking a percentage.

    This however is a good step. A Pan African bank doing this. Unfortunately the private sector has tried and failed at this. Let’s see how this goes

  5. Rutendo Brian Mawoyo

    No money must be charged to participate. If you need set up costs it should be at Government level. Generate revenue from Transactions happening on the platform by charging a percentage very small one.

  6. Nitpik

    Believe it’s misguided to charge so much in a market with the highest level of information asymmetry. African sme’s need all the help they can get. They can recoup their investment when the market has grown enough

2023 © Techzim All rights reserved. Hosted By Cloud Unboxed