The Chief Advisor to the President, Dr (Mrs) Mary Chinery-Hesse, has advocated a single African stock market to attract increased investments to the continent.
Dr Chinery-Hesse said the benefits of such a single stock market were enormous, adding that it would enable Africa to tap the needed capital for its development agenda.
"This should be the ultimate objective; we must accelerate the action," the Chief Adviser to the President stated this in Accra on Monday at the ongoing international conference of the African Stock Exchanges Association.(ASEA).
The 11th ASEA conference is being hosted bY the Ghana Stock Exhange (GSE) on the theme: "The African Capital Market: The Next Investment Frontier".
It has attracted many stakeholders within the African capital market.
She called on African stock exchanges to complement efforts by African governments to provide the requisite infrastructure for the development of the continent.
"African governments expect stock exchanges to be at the forefront of massive development on the continent," she said.
Dr Chinery-Hesse said Africa could no longer be ignored as an investment destination and that the stock exchanges on the continent should lead the way in attracting such investments.
She said African stock exchanges had, over the past few years, been described as emerging and were attractive because they offered higher returns to investors.
She called for the need to embark on education to bring on board small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) to source funds from the stock market.
She urged the delegates attending the conference to come up with proposals that would ensure the deepening of stock markets across Africa to position them to attract increased investments.
A Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, reiterated the government's commitment to using the stock exchange as exit strategy for state-owned enterprises (SOEs).
He acknowledged the many challenges that confronted the development of African stock exchanges, such as the legal and regulatory framework, and called for steps to address the concerns.
He said over the past years, the macroeconomic environment had improved and stated that the Ghana government was committed to pursuing policies that would further deepen the role of the capital market in the country.
ASEA was established in 1993 with the principal objective of creating a mutual platform for assistance and co-operation among African capital markets in the areas of technology, corporate governance, economic growth and general market development.
This year's conference, which is being hosted for the first time in Ghana, aims at focusing on important issues affecting African capital markets and how the experiences of various countries could be harnessed to assist in accelerating economic growth.
Apart from the Cairo and Johannesburg stock exchanges which are more than 100 years, most African markets are less than 50 years and the number of listings is not the best. The liquidity of these stock exchanges is equally poor.
Major topics lined up for the conference includes Globalisation and African Capital Markets; Key Drivers for the Development of African Capital Markets; and African Capital Markets - The Next Decade.
Within these broad thematic topics, issues such as recent developments on African capital markets, the performance of African capital markets and cross-border investment and securitisation in financial markets development will be discussed.
Source: Daily Graphic