Afreximbank is a pan-African trade and finance institution headquartered in Cairo, Egypt, with offices stretching across four African countries. Established in 1993, the bank’s vision is to increase Africa’s share of global trade—stimulating trade both within and beyond the African continent.

One way Afreximbank works to achieve its mandate is to send teams on “missions,” as they refer to them internally. These missions include travel to key financial centers for events and meetings with organizations interested in trade with Africa, and require a great deal of planning, logistical coordination, and reporting.

The problem? When Emeka Onyia, who leads Innovation and Product Development at Afreximbank, came to Net Solutions, most of Afreximbank’s processes surrounding their missions were manual, stuck in the 20th century. These offline processes led to mistakes, frustrating everyone involved and wasting precious time, effort, and money.

Emeka knew they needed a better way of doing things, so he spearheaded a digital transformation that would digitize the entire process surrounding the bank’s missions, optimizing workflows. The aim was to create an operationally efficient, easy-to-use platform that would reduce errors and simplify the organization’s processes.

Finding the Right Tech Partner

Finding the Right Tech Partner

Emeka drew on his experience working with offshore development teams, and he approached several potential partners, including Net Solutions. From the very first call, he and his team were impressed by both Net Solutions’ technical skills as well as their ability to grasp the problem at hand. As such, it did not take long for Emeka to realize he had found his ideal tech partner. 

Understanding the Big Picture

Common wisdom says that if you have an hour to chop down a tree, you should spend 45 minutes sharpening your axe. Similarly, before beginning work on a complex technical problem, it is important to understand the big picture and figure out how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.

With this in mind, Net Solutions’ team of developers began by mapping out the entire process they planned to digitize. This involved following the bank’s teams, mapping out user journeys, and identifying all the critical interactions and key touchpoints. Once they understood the intricacies of the entire workflow and the various roles involved at every step, only then were they ready to begin building the new system.

Designing and Building a Digital Platform

Net Solutions’ team worked to create a new system with clearly delineated roles, such that team members saw only features relevant to their specific job when they logged in. Based on the information they had acquired by studying existing processes, they created a workflow system that would automate moving relevant information to the right stakeholders. These stakeholders could then take the appropriate action to ensure a successful mission.

4 Key Features of the Digital Platform

4 Key Features of the Digital Platform

The new digital platform included the following features:

Proposal Creation: Teams could now propose missions and easily include all the relevant information, such as cities, dates, agendas, etc.

Comments & Approvals: With organizational mapping complete and reflected in the platform, the right stakeholders could review, comment on, and approve proposals with ease.

Notifying Logistics Team and Everyone Involved: Once approved, the system would notify the logistics team to make the necessary arrangements for a successful mission. The system would also convey the pertinent information to every mission participant and anyone else connected to the project.

Streamlined Reporting: After each mission, teams had to create a report, briefing management on their actions and discoveries. Since this was a collaborative effort, Net Solutions created a CKEditor based report authoring tool, providing access to all relevant team members. All team members of a mission automatically had access to its report and could thus work on the document together until it was ready for submission and approval. Post-approval, the system automatically generated and archived the mission report in multiple formats.

Success, Mobile Expansion, General Improvements

The new system proved to be an immediate success, greatly simplifying the processes involved in planning, executing, and reporting missions. Based on team member feedback, Afreximbank then hired Net Solutions to create mobile apps for both Android smartphones and Apple’s iOS platforms.

Developed in Xamarin and featuring a UI interface optimized for mobile phones, the apps provided team members with details of their missions and ability to edit reports on the go.

Once the new digital processes were in place and running smoothly, Net Solutions improved those processes to take advantage of everything a digital transformation might have to offer. The team consulted end-users to gather Voice-of-the-Customer (VOC) data and studied workflows to discover ideal areas for improvement and implement new features.

Usability Testing


Net Solutions’ work produced an effective platform with streamlined processes, saving resources and simplifying life for Afreximbank’s employees.

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