9 November 2015
The African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA) of stock exchange and brokerage professionals from 25 African countries, will hold its annual conference in Johannesburg from 15 to 17 November, with the theme of sustainability at its core.
Hosted by Joburg’s stock exchange, the JSE, Africa Evermore: Growth for Sustainability is an opportunity to gauge and discuss the potential, growth, and stability of Africa’s capital markets.
The theme of the conference falls in line with goals of the National Development Plan, which is intent on finding Africa’s place in the global narrative. It is also an opportunity to share skills and knowledge, with an eye on developing a capable and competitive South African stock market industry within the context of Africa and the world.
“The conference is important as it features high-level discussions covering themes that are relevant to our capital markets and opportunities to network with leading industry players from across the continent,” said Oscar Onyema, the ASEA president and chief executive of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
The packed two-day programme, said Nicky Newton-King, the JSE chief executive, would provide delegates with an in-depth understanding of the strength resulting from the integration of Africa’s security exchanges. “Those who operate in the regulated market need to know that we are part of the global financial markets. We are already beginning to see this for example in East Africa, where they are driving significant regional connectivity.”
One of the more significant topics to be discussed will be in-depth analysis of the Role of the Exchange as a Corporate Citizen, in which the upsurge of investment decisions driven by considerations of risk, impact and sustainability rather than just financial returns will be explored.
The ASEA prides itself on the promotion and education of its members and stakeholders regarding the importance of socially responsible investments and the need to pay attention to environmental, social and governance issues.
Additionally, delegates will have the opportunity to examine new trends in sovereign wealth fund investments. They will look into how this may determine the future and growth of Africa’s stock exchanges and brokerage industry.
The conference played a large role in focusing attention on what was happening on African stock exchanges, said John Kamanga, the chief executive of the Malawi Stock Exchange. Kamanga will moderate some of these discussions.
A number of ASEA’s member countries have already launched sovereign wealth funds, including Angola, Ghana, and Nigeria. It has been found that the funds invest surplus revenues and can act an effective fiscal stabilisation mechanism in volatile markets, while enabling governments to access liquid assets and channel investment into specific projects like infrastructure development.
“The conference serves to confirm that we are open and ready to do business,” said Kamanga, adding that the gathering also had the inherent benefit of being able to network and interact with industry players from the continent, as well as international fund managers and stock exchange members where a transfer of skills and knowledge played a vital role.
With the JSE being the continent’s largest exchange and a member of the World Federation of Exchanges, Newton-King agreed. “It is about finding ways to share knowledge and experiences so as to build depth and sophistication of African markets across the continent that will allow linkages to develop over time.”
Onyema said that capital markets had been the key drivers of Africa’s economic transformation and continued to play a central role in the continent’s growth story.
Source: African Press Organization