Director General of the West African Monetary Institute, Dr. Olorunsola Olowofeso has stated that one of the aims of the West African Capital Markets Integration (WACMI) Phase II Project is to deepen West African markets as well as achieve robust and integrated capital markets.
Dr. Olowofeso stated this during a two day Capacity Building/Sensitization Program on West African Capital Markets Integration (WACMI) Phase II Project held in Lagos, Tuesday.
The WACMI PHASE 2 Project is funded by the African Development Bank through a grant from the Capital Markets Development Trust Fund and implemented by the West African Monetary Institute (WAMI) while Lead anchors are the West African Capital Markets Integration Council (WACMIC), a platform for Chief Executive Officers of the Securities Exchanges and Central Securities Depositories in West Africa, and the West African Securities Regulators Association (WASRA), comprised of Directors General of the Securities & Exchange Commissions in the region.
Dr. Olorunsola Olowofeso who stated that the capacity Building and Sensitization workshop is designed to enhance the skill level of different classes of market participants through dedicated trainings on operating rules, investment processes, trading and settlement operations for cross-border investments, also said that it is expected to create awareness and sensitize the public on the implementation of the WACMI Phase 2 Project.
According to him, aside the harmonization of market rules and the capacity building and sensitization programme across the stock exchanges in ECOWAS, other activities under component I include development and hosting of a centralized database/ website for the West
He assured that WAMI as implementing agency of the project will continue to collaborate with ail the stakeholders, particularly WASRA and WACMIC to ensure that the project is completed within the stipulated time (June 2024).
In a keynote address, Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. Lamido Yuguda, stated that the initiative aims to establish a common and integrated platform for listing, trading, and settling securities transactions within West Africa.
He said, “One of the primary objectives of this program is to enhance awareness of the WACMI Phase II Project and its significance for the region’s capital market ecosystem.
“We seek to foster a comprehensive understanding of the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead as we strive to facilitate cross-border investments and create a seamless trading environment within West Africa.
Represented by Executive Commissioner Operations at the SEC, Mr. Dayo Obisan, Yuguda stated that the aim of the programme is to facilitate a fruitful knowledge exchange, enabling learning from each other’s experiences and identify practical solutions to strengthen cross-border investment and trading activities adding that this will ultimately bring about the much-desired integrated capital market that would cater for the region.
“Capital markets play the crucial role of channelling capital from the place of surplus to that of deficit, helping make production and in turn, development possible. For development to happen, a strong capital market is a requisite.
“There’s need to expand the markets in the sub-region, and one of the ways to do it is to encourage cross-border capital market activity. This increases the opportunity set for people in our sub-region, helps diversification of investments, and encourages transfer of skills and best practices” he stated.
Giving an overview on West African Capital Market Integration (WACMI) Phase II Project, Project Manager, Dr. Abdulrasheed Zubair disclosed that the direct beneficiaries include WACMIC comprising Ghana Stock Exchange, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Cape Verde Stock Exchange and Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières (BRVM). Other beneficiaries include the capital market ecosystems of The Gambia, Guinea, Liberia & Sierra Leone
“The Indirect beneficiaries are Stockbrokers, securities traders, central securities depositories in the West African region, Institutional investors including pension funds, insurance companies, sovereign wealth funds and other asset managers operating within the region.
Others are Foreign portfolio investors and international asset managers with interest in the West African markets”.
The aim of the project he stated, is to facilitate cross-border investments in the ECOWAS region through the harmonization of regulations for trading and settlement of capital market securities transactions.
“Establish a harmonized regulatory environment for the issuance and trading of capital market securities across the region and Strengthen capital markets data collation and dissemination for West African Capital Markets”.