The President, African Securities Exchanges Association, Mr. Oscar Onyema, says the African financial market lacked foresight and will need to be proactive to develop the continent’s market and create the required opportunities.
Onyema, who is also the chief executive officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, said this at the 21st Annual ASEA Conference hosted by the Egyptian Exchange in November, a statement on Sunday indicated.
The theme of this year’s conference was, ‘Africa Mapping the Future; a timely topic that sought to reemphasis the importance and potential of the continent in shaping the global future’.
The 21st edition of the ASEA conference attracted more than 250 delegates from Africa, Middle East, the United States of America and Europe.
While making his opening remarks, Onyema urged the players in the African financial markets to make a deliberate effort to map a way out of the traditional assumptions of the continent.
He said, “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.”
The opening of the conference was officiated by the Minister of Investment and International Cooperation of Egypt, Dr. Sahar Nasr, who echoed the words of Onyema by reminding the delegates that Africa had been operating below capacity and called for the development of entrepreneurship and that of the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises if the region was to reach its full potential.
Also in attendance was the Commissioner of Economic Affairs of the African Union, Victor Harison, who spoke to the delegates on behalf of the Chairperson of the AU; stating that the Commission of the AU considered the private sector a major component for economic development of the continent under Agenda 2063 and more so the capital markets.
“Therefore, the private sector is called upon to assume its role as engine of growth and development in the fight against poverty,” he added.
The 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 was indeed achievable and feasible.
Other notable speakers at the conference included the World Bank Senior Vice President, Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin and Chairman, Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority, Dr. Mohamed Omran, among others. The speakers 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.