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“Capital Markets Key Drivers of Africa’s Economic Transformation”

By Eric Ojo

President of African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA), Oscar Onyema has attributed  Africa’s impressive economic transformation in recent times to the major role being played by the capital markets across the continent.

Onyema  said capital markets have been the key drivers of economic progress in Africa and have continued to play a central role in the continent’s growth story. He also disclosed that ASEA which is a a premier association of 25 securities exchanges from across the African continent  was set to host its annual conference with a view to brainstorming and reflecting on the strength of capital markets in Africa.

He said the conference which is holding in Johannesburg from 15th to 17th of November 2015 is important as it features high level discussions covering themes that are relevant to our capital markets and opportunities to network with leading industry players from across the continent.

The ASEA President further noted that the theme of the conference, “Africa Evermore: Growth for sustainability”, embodied the potential, growth, and stability of Africa’s capital markets, adding that one of the topics coming up for discussion at the event will be to examine the “Role of the Exchange as a Corporate Citizen”.

Onyema who also the CEO of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), equally observed that investment decisions are increasingly being driven by considerations of risk, impact, and sustainability that are far wider than just financial returns.

Meanwhile, ASEA assists in promoting and educating members and stakeholders on the importance of socially responsible investments and the need to pay attention to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues.

Delegates will also have the opportunity to explore how to attract Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) investors and examine how they see Africa’s Exchanges. The conference, according to John Kamanga, the CEO of Malawi Stock Exchange played a large role in focusing attention on what was happening on the African stock exchanges.

Kamaga who will be moderating the discussion at the conference said a number of ASEA’s member countries have already launched SWFs, including Angola, Ghana, and Nigeria. SWFs invest surplus revenues and can be an effective fiscal stabilisation mechanism, enabling governments to access liquid assets, and channel investment into specific projects like infrastructure development.

“The ASEA Conference serves to confirm that we are open and ready to do business. There are of course, the inherent benefits of being able to network and interact with our colleagues, with the international fund managers and stock exchange members, and with all this comes the transfer of skills and knowledge”, he further stated.

Lending credence to this assertion, Nicky Newton-King, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), the continent’s largest and member of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) and host of this year’s conference, said it is about finding ways to share knowledge and experiences so as to build depth and sophistication of African markets across the continent that will allow linkages to develop over time.

Newton-King added that the packed two-day programme would provide delegates with an in-depth understanding of the strength resulting from the integration of Africa’s security exchanges.

“Those who operate in the regulated market need to know that we are part of the global financial markets. We are already beginning to see this for example in East Africa, where they are driving significant regional connectivity”, she said.


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