Making Finance Work for Africa

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Marché des capitaux BAD149A

Ahead of the Annual Meetings scheduled to take place from May 13-14, 2009, the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has organized a conference on the theme: “African Capital Markets / Making Finance Work for Africa.” The objective is to liberalize the potential of the financial sector for Africa’s development.

Africa’s financial sector has not yet reached its potential as a growth factor.  The AfDB seeks to bring African governments, development partners and private sector players for them to pool their efforts in order to fully exploit the financial sector’s capacity. They want the financial sector to serve as a catalyst for economic development and a contributor to poverty reduction efforts on the continent.

On the occasion of the Annual Meetings scheduled to take place in Dakar, Senegal, the AfDB is focusing on the theme: “African Capital Markets/ Making Finance Work for Africa.” According to the “Making Finance Work for Africa,” Partnership Coordinator, Stefan Nalletamby, this initiative aims at expanding access to the financial sector for all sectors of the economy and to use them for the continent’s development. For the AfDB Finance Vice President, Thierry De Longuemar, the continent’s capital market is fragmented and it is necessary to support it by working with decision-makers.

Many finance experts made presentations aimed at shedding light on bond markets in their regions or sectors. Among them were the AfDB Treasurer, Pierre Van Peteghem; the Central Bank for West African States (BCEAO) Deputy Director for Banking Services, Mamadou Sereme ; the Bank of Uganda Vice President in Charge of Operations, Stephen Kaboyo; the Financial Management and Stocks (CGE) Expert,  Gabriel Fal; and Citigroup Sub-Saharan Specialist, Leon Myburgh. African bond markets have their peculiarities, but the issues discussed by the speakers were similar. Among other things, they called for national regulation, market and tax harmonization and an annual government bond issuance planning.