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Overview of Africa's Financial Sector

Jun 17, 2021 | MFW4A, AMENET

This article is the first joint collaboration between the AMENET university network and the initiative Making Finance Work for Africa (MFW4A). By way of introduction, this first article includes just an overview of the most notable advances in the development of the financial sector in Africa since the 1990s. The transformation was accelerated after the financial crisis of 2008 with the progressive replacement of the European and American banks that dominated the sector by a dynamic group of pan-African entities, mainly from South Africa, Nigeria and Morocco. This same dynamic was translated to the insurance sector and financial markets. The number of stock exchanges have grown from 9 in 1989 to 30 in 2020 and the biggest ones are at a very advanced stage of interconnection that has increased liquidity and product diversification. Two other highlights of the process have been the advancement of financial inclusion thanks to the penetration of telephone banking in which Africa is the world leader and the strengthening of regulation and supervision systems. This financial transformation is favouring the process of economic integration at the continental level and interconnection with financial markets on a global scale.