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AfDB inaugurates phase 2 of $850,000 integration project

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The African Development Bank (AfDB), has inaugurated second phase of the West African Capital Markets Integration (WACMI) Project.

The aim is to establish a common securities listing and trading platform across West African stock markets.

According to a statement from AfDB, the project inaugurated on Tuesday, is being financed by a grant of 850,000 dollars it received from the Capital Markets Development Trust Fund (CMDTF) in December 2020.

The grant was a multi-donor fund administered by the bank and supported by Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

The second phase of the integration project entails the harmonisation of regulations in participating capital markets and building the capacities of market regulators and operators to handle cross-border investments.

Mr Ahmed Attout, Manager, AfDB’s Capital Markets Development Division said the project was aligned with the bank’s High-5 strategic priorities, especially to industrialise and integrate Africa.

“The project was conceived to scale regional capital markets activities, broaden participation and promote the integration of West African capital markets.

“This is to address the region’s capital market challenges, including low market liquidity, limited infrastructure and fragmentation,” Attout added.

Representatives of participating governments, the AfDB, CMDTF and regional bodies attended the virtual inauguration.

Dr Olorunsola Olowofeso, Director-General, West African Monetary Institute (WAMI) expressed delight at the partnership with the AfDB to support financial systems development in the WACMI.

“Particularly in the area of technical assistance and institutional capacity building.

“It is our desire to see further deepening in financial integration and cross border operations in the zone,” Olowofeso said.

The expected beneficiary countries are Ghana, Nigeria, the Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Cape Verde.

Other beneficiary countries are the eight countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union: Benin, Guinea Bissau, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.

WAMI will implement the project in collaboration with participating countries through the WACMI Council (WACMIC).

WACMIC was inaugurated as the governing body for the integration of West African capital markets.

The objective of the council is to establish a harmon​ised regulatory environment for the issuance and trading of financial securities across the region.

Also, the aim of the council is to develop a common platform for cross-border listing and trading of such securities in the sub-region.

Temitope Ponle

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