AfDB Hosts a Workshop to Boost Local Currency Bond Market Development in Africa

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The African Financial Markets Initiative (AFMI), managed by the African Development Bank (AfDB), hosted a Pan-African Stakeholder Workshop from October 22 to 24, 2012, at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Tunis. The workshop offered a unique opportunity for policymakers and market participants to share experiences and contribute to discussions on critical issues facing the development of local currency bond markets in Africa.

In contrast to other regions in the world, few African countries can effectively access capital in their domestic markets. This is because African capital markets are for the most part at an early stage of development and therefore are generally small, illiquid and lacking a full range of financial and investment products. However, financial sector development, including matured local currency bond markets, is paramount to successful and sustainable economic growth in Africa.

Through exchange and discussion during the Pan-African Stakeholder Workshop, participants from 50 African countries, including sovereign issuers, institutional investors, representatives from finance ministries, central banks, credit rating agencies, stock exchanges and development finance institutions, covered areas such as the development of primary and secondary markets, the expansion and diversification of the investor base, and strengthening of domestic bond market infrastructure.

Charles Boamah, AfDB Vice President for Finance, said: “The forum offered a great opportunity for stakeholders to identify and prioritize the challenges and impediments to bond market development on the continent. We look forward to the outcomes from this event that not only allow us to agree with our development partners and stakeholders on the work that lies ahead, but also to come up with a concrete action plan to be shared with Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors for support in implementation.”   

The African Financial Markets Initiative (AFMI) is an integrated and tailored response to meet the market needs of stakeholders in Africa. Launched by the AfDB Group in 2008 and funded by the AfDB, the Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), AFMI is designed to further develop domestic debt markets on the continent.