West Africa markets’ integration crucial for growth
The integration of capital markets in West Africa has become crucial for raising funds to finance economic activities in the region, says Dr Adu Antwi, Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission, Ghana.Dr. Antwi was lecturing at the 11th Annual PEARL Awards held in Lagos, speaking on ‘Integrating West African capital markets: Issues, challenges and Prospects”.
According to Dr Antwi, West African stock exchanges remain underdeveloped, especially regarding the little number of listed companies, low market capitalization, low liquidity, limited range of investment products and the low level of capital market knowledge among people. These conditions would discourage investors from investing and bound investment to the savings provided solely by the country’s consumers.
Antwi favors integration of capital markets, where capital can move freely across borders and investors and users of capital have the same opportunities within a region.
Indeed, there is a current initiative to integrate West African capital markets, which started in 2012, and led to the establishment of the West African Capital Markets Integration Council, made up of the DGs of the sub-regions securities commissions and the chief executive officers of the four stock exchanges with others as observers. Antwi expressed the belief that all regional official organizations view integration of capital markets as a very important tool for the integration of West African Economies.