West African Market Integration Commences

West African Capital Market Integration programme, which is linked to the West African Monetary Institute, was established in 2001 by the heads of state in the West African Monetary Zone. It has organised a series of workshops, signaling the inauguration of the planned integration of capital markets in West Africa.

According to the Chairman, WACMIC, Mr. Oscar Onyema, the market integration will take place in three phases.

In the first phase, trading is projected to commence among WACMI members through sponsored access, the second phase will involve the introduction of membership privileges, while the third phase will mark the full integration, meaning all markets will be accessible by qualified West African brokers.

Two different workshops organised by WACMIC in Lagos and Abuja last week to enable stakeholders to learn more about the programme and provide feedback ended with many participants expressing support for the project. At the second workshop in Abuja, it was gathered that the planned integration received the backing of the National Assembly with the Senate Committee on Capital Market expressing support for the programme.

The Chairman of the Senate committee, Ayoade Adeseun, represented by Mrs. Halima Mohammed said the Nigerian parliament and ECOWAS parliament were fully in support of the integration process. She further explained that the integration of the capital markets would lead to the economic growth of the region with many benefits.

The exchanges involved in the programme are the NSE, Ghana Stock Exchange, Sierra Leone Stock Exchange and The Bourse Regionale des Valeurs Mobilieres, which covers eight francophone countries.

Also, the Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. Suleyman Ndanusa, expressed the confidence that all regulators in West Africa would support the project. He said the initiative will clearly broaden the capital raising space for listed companies with positive impact on industrial development.

“I believe that access to a wider market, which integration provides, could encourage more companies to grip the capital market funds and listing and further deepen the regional markets.” He added.