NSE,CEO & WACMIC,
From Benjamin A Ameh, Lagos
Today’s event marks another major milestone for West African capital markets as we continue to execute initiatives geared towards achieving our goal to integrate West African capital markets.
Speaking during the opening remarks at 2nd meeting of the West African Capital Markets Integration Council (WACMIC), mr Oscar Onyema, CEO, The Nigerian Stock Exchange NSE and also Chairman, WACMIC said that due to three successful Technical Committee meetings and working sessions that have held during the year, this WACMIC meeting serves as an opportunity for us to deliberate on the findings of the teams and to chart the way forward.
Onyema said this program is the foundation for financial market cooperation and collaboration in the sub-region while appreciating the respective market operators, the various Securities Exchanges, CSDs and Regulators for the roles they have played in getting us that much closer to achieving our objective.
He cited the various places where the Technical Committee meeting was held in May in Abidjan and another Technical Committee meeting was hosted in June by the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE). “Both were aimed at developing the technical framework for trading and settlement infrastructure required to integrate our markets, as well as the legal framework necessary for seamless integration.”
Onyema stressed further that “these meetings served to convey and incorporate the WACMI Council’s feedback, and decisions from the first Council meeting held in March of this year. Technical Committee members were given the responsibility of building on the foundation laid out by the Council to fine tune the details of capital market integration. The results of these Technical Committee meetings will be presented to the Council during this meeting.”
He said that assembled here today are leaders of and experts from our respective markets, all of whom are key players in the sub-region’s integration process.
“Integration will enable the movement of capital within the region, creating flexibility for issuers looking to raise capital and investors looking to invest across member states. Furthermore, integration would speed up the development of our various domestic financial systems, promoting increased competition and innovation, as well as offering opportunities for risk diversification.”
Onyema revealed that West Africa Region is one with a strategic geographical footprint within Africa, and a large and diverse population of over 290 million which translates into a consumer base with significant domestic savings and investing potential. Achieving integration will enable momentous growth in our markets, which will empower us to remain relevant in attracting investment flows, while creating a much larger market for local and international businesses he added.