Capital market regulators and key stakeholders have been urged to implement sound domestic economic policies and build robust financial institutions that are fully empowered in a bid to achieving West Africa’s economic prosperity.
The Acting Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Ms. Mary Uduk, gave this charge on Monday at the maiden West Africa Capital Market Conference in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
Uduk identified the capital market as playing critical roles in economic development, adding that developing the market is crucial to unlocking the economic potential of individual nations and the region.
The investment expert said the theme of the Conference ‘Positioning West Africa Capital Markets to Achieve Sustainable and Real Economic Growth through Integration and Sound Regulation’ clearly articulated the aim of the gathering.
She said: “The conference could not have taken place at a better time. With globalization and increased connectivity of our markets as well as investors’ quest for liquidity, market efficiency and lower transaction costs, it has become imperative to begin to have conversations around initiatives aimed at integrating markets and improving regional market competitiveness.
“In addition, market integration requires participating exchanges to have proper technological infrastructure to facilitate trading as well as adopt the highest standards of transparency and integrity” the Acting DG added.
Uduk explained that the forum provided participants with the opportunity to share relevant experiences and knowledge of best practices in capital market operations and regulations.
She, therefore, urged participants to take advantage of the auspicious event to learn from one another and adopt principles that will strengthen integration efforts in the West African region and deepen the capital markets and make them more competitive, robust and resilient to shocks.
Declaring the conference open, the Vice President Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, Mr. Daniel Duncan, expressed the need for a harmonised regulatory framework within the West African sub-region to help boost and sustain strong economic growth in the countries.
Duncan noted further that capital markets in the region were important to economic growth and commended the conference organisers on the initiative, adding that development across the states demostrates the important role capital markets have played and will continue to play in the economies.
He said: “We need to work towards addressing the challenges facing our countries. We therefore need to find ways to mobilise part of the global savings to Africa to finance infrastructure development”.
The Cote d’Ivorien Vice President expressed confidence that a harmonised regulatory approach would help boost and sustain strong economic growth in the region.