There Is An Urgent Need To Harmonize Capital Markets In Africa

by Business Watch Team
Capital Markets

Members of the Chartered Financial Analysts Society East Africa have called on African states to fast-track institutional reforms for the harmonization of African Capital Markets.

Speaking in Kigali- Rwanda during an investment conference, attended by top-notch global financial and investment analysts, the professionals highlighted the urgent need for legal and regulatory reforms to synchronize capital markets across the continent.

The reforms, emphasized by the experts, will play a pivotal role in education, technology, and infrastructure investments in nurturing entrepreneurship and spurring economic growth.

“Sectors such as technology, renewable energy, and agriculture were identified as critical drivers of prosperity, promising job creation and play a critical role for spurring growth in capital markets”, said Banji Fehintola, Senior Director and head of Treasury of Africa Finance Corporation.

Recognizing the significance of trade and connectivity in propelling Africa’s economic agenda, the investment experts emphasized the need to dismantle trade barriers, promote intra-African trade, and invest in robust transportation and digital infrastructure. Such measures, they contended, would facilitate regional integration and enhance Africa’s global competitiveness.

Other key themes addressed during the conference included promoting ethical practices among investment professionals, advancing financial literacy initiatives, investing in human capital within the capital markets sector, advocacy for market integrity and transparency, ensuring equitable opportunities for all stakeholders, and facilitating state support for investments and financial services

“The CFA Society East Africa Investment Conference is heralding a transformative chapter in Africa’s economic trajectory. It is prudent for investment experts to focus on leveraging Africa’s abundant natural resources, a youthful demographic dividend, and a burgeoning entrepreneurial ethos to foster innovation, drive investments, and promote sustainable development across East Africa and beyond” noted Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana, Rwanda’s minister of Finance and Economic Planning.

He further noted “This gathering represents a pivotal moment in East Africa’s journey towards sustainable development and economic prosperity. By fostering collaboration and innovation, we can unlock the region’s immense potential and build a brighter future for all.”

In a landmark development, the Capital Markets Authority of Rwanda and Rwanda Finance Limited, in collaboration with the CFA Institute and CFA Society East Africa, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at bolstering investment and knowledge within the local and regional finance industry. The MoU underscores a commitment to public awareness campaigns, training, research, and mentorship programs. Additionally, collaborative efforts will be directed towards hosting finance and investment forums, events, and awareness campaigns at both local and regional levels.

The signing followed a significant step by the government of Rwanda to re-build its human resource base to create a critical mass of competent staff with the required skills and experience, to build and sustain an effective Public Financial Management system that offers excellent service delivery through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.

FinAcco Hub, a finance and accounting consulting firm, that was accredited by the CFA Institute as an official local prep provider in 2023, has been commissioned to train a pool of 175 candidates for the CFA program by December 2024.

“This initiative will target both high-performing students and working professionals We are delighted by the commitment of the Rwandan government to training and educating staff in investment management, and we support its efforts to serve as a hub for channeling investments into the continent. An important pillar of capacity building is about equipping individuals with the skills and training to support capital owners and pension funds. The CFA charter provides a rigorous standard of investment management education that asset managers, sovereign wealth funds, banks, regulators, and governments around the world depend on to train their staff in internationally accepted investment practices, and we look forward to working with the Rwandan government on this important initiative,” said Margaret Franklin, CFA, President and CEO of CFA Institute.

“FinAcco Hub is thrilled to be the first accredited prep provider in Rwanda, underscoring our commitment to delivering credible and top-quality training. Having an accredited local training facility in Kigali, and a local test center, will not only help Rwandan candidates attain one of the highest distinctions in the investment management profession but also render the program more accessible and affordable, thereby enhancing their prospects for long-term career success” said Andre Ndikumana, CFA, Co-Founder and Executive Director of FinAcco Hub

Francis Nasyomba, CFA, Principal at Raisin Capital and President of CFA Society East Africa, emphasized, “The resolutions adopted at this conference underscore our collective commitment to driving positive change across East Africa. Through strategic investments and partnerships, we can harness the power of finance to transform lives and communities.”

The delegates were immersed in the modalities of the ratification of the Continental Free Trade Area, with experts asserting that the timing was opportune for its implementation. “The agreement holds significant potential to enhance intra-African trade and bolster economic integration, thereby stimulating capital market development” added Francis’.

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