Financial market integration in West Africa enters a new phase with WAMI

Sep 13, 2012

A new step has been taken towards the integration of West African financial markets with the creation of the West African Capital Market Integration Council (WAMI).

Introduced by the BRVM, the Ghana Stock Exchange, the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Sierra Leone Stock Exchange, this facility will coordinate market convergence actions in the region, Ecofin news agency reports.

A kick-off meeting was held in Accra this week, where stakeholders have indicated that financial markets can efficiently support robust funding for economic growth, provided that governments and regulatory authorities give priority to this project.

This integration is necessitated by the dwindling sources of external capital, the small size of domestic stock markets but also because savings on domestic markets remain limited.

"Governments in the sub-region do not make sufficient use of markets to raise funds for infrastructure development. They also do not allow public companies to raise funds on the market to fulfil their needs," said Kofi Yamoah, Managing Director of the Ghana Stock Exchange, quoted by Next Africa.

He therefore considers market integration as a necessity because it will allow businesses and governments to have better access to capital to fund their projects.

However, significant challenges remain, including language barriers and differences between the legal systems of Anglophone and Francophone countries.ADNFCR-2976-ID-801448148-ADNFCR