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African Financial Markets Operating Below Capacity—Onyema

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The need for players in the African financial markets to make a deliberate effort to map a way out of the traditional assumptions of the continent has been emphasised by President of African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA), Mr Oscar Onyema.

Mr Onyema, who also is the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), gave this advice at the 21st annual ASEA conference hosted by the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) and held at the Nile Ritz Carlton Hotel in Cairo, Egypt.

“We must take the lead in overcoming the lethargy encouraged by the ‘Africa rising’ narrative which seems to have resulted in a general lack of foresight and ability to proactively mitigate risk on the continent,” Mr Onyema stated.

The conference, preceded by the 21st Annual General Meeting (AGM) of ASEA and attended by 20 member exchanges and 1 associate member, was themed ‘Africa Mapping the Future.’

The NSE boss charged stakeholders and regulators to do more to make the African capital markets compete favourably with others across the globe.

Speaking also, Egypt’s Minister of Investment & International Cooperation, Dr Sahar Nasr, agreed with Mr Onyema that Africa has been operating below capacity and called for the development of entrepreneurship and that of Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) if the region is to reach its full potential.

On his part, Executive Chairman of the EGX, Mr Mohamed Farid, pointed that some key determinants in strengthening the African financial markets would include promotion of financial literacy and entrenching the belief that the success of the continent is indeed achievable and feasible.

Other notable speakers at the conference included the World Bank Senior Vice President, Dr Mahmoud Mohieldin, and Dr Mohamed Omran, Chairman Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority, among others.

They engaged the delegates in thought provoking discussions revolving around topical subjects such as integration of African Exchanges, feasible regulatory frameworks, green finance and encouraging SME participation in the capital markets.

The conference attracted more than 250 delegates from Africa, Middle East, the United States of America and Europe, including the Commissioner of Economic Affairs of the African Union (AU), Mr Victor Harison, representing the AU Chairperson.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN’s Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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