Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has called for faster and deeper integration of capital markets in the West Africa sub-region to enable countries to recover from the double hits of the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Dr Bawumia said a well-integrated West Africa Capital Market could accelerate the mobilisation of resources for sub-regional and continental infrastructure needs, which according to the African Development Bank (AfDB), is about $130-$170 billion a year (AfDB, 2019 report).
That, he said, could be supported or supplemented by funds raised across the region and the continent.
Speaking at the second edition of the biennial Conference of the West Africa Markets Conference (WACMaC), organised by the West Africa Securities Regulators Association (WASRA) in Accra on Tuesday, Vice President Bawumia said such integration would not only facilitate cross-border trade but also help raise the needed capital for local development.
"An integrated capital market can also help attract capital and stem the rapid tide of capital flight from Africa, which has hit unprecedented proportions. In this case, capital will begin to work within the continent as bankable projects would be initiated locally," he explained.
Among others, regional integration of capital markets in the West African Community should stimulate intraregional securities trade and investment, providing alternative sources of financing and supplementing commercial banks, which dominate the regional financial sector with low competitiveness, Dr Bawumia emphasised.
"Deeper and more liquid markets could support foreign and local currency capital investments in physical and social infrastructure," he remarked.
The Vice President, however, warned that the necessary regulatory measures must be put in place to ensure the growth and sustenance of the integrated capital market.
Dr Bawumia said for a successful capital market integration there was the need to develop regulatory policies that protected investors, improved the efficiency of markets and protected the markets from systemic risk.
"The government of His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who also is the current chairman of ECOWAS, pledges our unflinching commitment to work in concert with the other governments in the sub-region to support the integration agenda for the Capital markets in West Africa," the Vice President noted.