African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and Financial Markets Integration in West Africa
This document is based on a webinar organized by Making Finance Work for Africa and the Capital Markets Development Trust Fund, hosted by the African Development Bank. Most of West Africa’s Financial Markets, are small, shallow, illiquid and deeply fragmented. The majority of these markets are heavily challenged by: (a) lack of financial products diversity; (b) weak regulatory structures; (c) poor risk management; (d) poor soft financial infrastructure; (e) poor pricing methods. These challenges have resulted in an ineffective Financial Markets with very limited options to address the financing needs for Africa’s development imperatives including domestic resources mobilization in an unreliable, multipower, uncertain, and volatile global context. Within that backdrop, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) comes in as a continental regulatory and legal framework to establish a single and liberalized market for goods, persons, capital and services. In the scope of this webinar, speakers adressed the establishment of a single and liberalized Capital/Financial Market through successive rounds of negotiations in sub-sectors such as: i) Financial Markets operational services; ii) Financial Markets regulatory services; iii) Financial Markets soft infrastructure; iv) Financial Markets products and; v) Financial transactions processing and clearinghouse services.