Capital market regulators and key stakeholders have been urged to implement sound domestic economic policies and build robust financial institutions that are fully empowered in a bid to achieving West Africa’s economic prosperity.
This was stated by Acting Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Ms. Mary Uduk at the Maiden West Africa Capital Market Conference in Abidjan on Monday.
Uduk said the capital market plays a critical role in economic development and is crucial to unlocking the economic potential of individual nations and the region. She said the theme of the Conference, “Positioning West Africa Capital Markets to Achieve Sustainable and Real Economic Growth through Integration and Sound Regulation” clearly articulates the aim of the gathering.
She said, “the conference could not have taken place at a better time. With globalization and increased connectivity of our markets as well as investors’ quest for liquidity, market efficiency and lower transaction costs, it has become imperative to begin to have conversations around initiatives aimed at integrating markets and improving regional market competitiveness.
“In addition, market integration requires participating exchanges to have proper technological infrastructure to facilitate trading as well as adopt the highest standards of transparency and integrity”.
The Acting DG said the forum provides participants with the rare opportunity to share relevant experiences and knowledge of best practices in capital market operations and regulation.
“I therefore urge us all to take advantage of this auspicious event to learn from one another and adopt principles that will strengthen integration efforts in the West African region and deepen our markets to be competitive, robust and resilient to shocks” she added.
While declaring the conference open, Mr. Daniel Kablan Duncan, Vice President Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, expressed the need for a harmonised regulatory framework within the West African sub region to help boost and sustain strong economic growth in the various countries.
Duncan stated that capital markets in the region are important to economic growth and commended the conference organisers on the initiative.
According to the Vice President, development of states has showed the important role capital markets have played and continue to play in their economies.
He said, “We need to work towards addressing the challenges facing our countries
“We therefore need to find ways to mobilise part of the global savings to Africa to finance infrastructure development”.
Duncan expresses confidence that a harmonised Regulatory method will help boost and sustain strong economic growth in the region.
The conference opened with a Seminar for Regulators, Exchanges and Depositories in the region, followed by the public conference with speakers and panellists drawn from Regulatory agencies, investment funds, inter-regional economic bodies, as well as eminent researchers and academics.
The WACMAC is expected to become a major biennial event for the capital market community in the region and is jointly organised by WASRA, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the West African Capital Market Integration Council (WACMIC), and the West African Monetary Institute (WAMI).