Sound policies, critical to economic prosperity – SEC

Salamatu Ejembi, Lagos

Ms. Mary Uduk, Acting Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, (SEC).

The Acting Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Ms. Mary Uduk has urged capital market regulators and key stakeholders to implement sound economic policies and build robust financial institutions that are fully empowered across West Africa.

She stated this during the Maiden West Africa Capital Market Conference WACMaC themed “Positioning West Africa Capital Markets to Achieve Sustainable and Real Economic Growth through Integration and Sound Regulation” in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

Uduk said the capital market plays a critical role in economic development and is crucial to unlocking the economic potential of individual nations and the region.

“The conference could not have taken place at a better time. With globalization and increased connectivity of our markets as well as investors’ quest for liquidity, market efficiency and lower transaction costs, it has become imperative to begin to have conversations around initiatives aimed at integrating markets and improving regional market competitiveness.

“In addition, market integration requires participating exchanges to have proper technological infrastructure to facilitate trading as well as adopt the highest standards of transparency and integrity,” she added.

Accordung to her, the forum provides participants with the rare opportunity to share relevant experiences and knowledge of best practices in capital market operations and regulation.

“I therefore urge us all to take advantage of this auspicious event to learn from one another and adopt principles that will strengthen integration efforts in the West African region and deepen our markets to be competitive, robust and resilient to shocks” she said.

The Vice President Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, Mr. Daniel Kablan Duncan expressed the need for a harmonised regulatory framework within the West African sub region to help boost and sustain strong economic growth in the various countries.

Duncan stated that capital markets in the region are important to economic growth and commended the conference organisers on the initiative.

According to the Vice President, development of states has showed the important role capital markets have played and continue to play in their economies.

“We need to work towards addressing the challenges facing our countries.

“We therefore need  to find ways to mobilise part of the global savings to Africa to finance infrastructure development,” he emphasised.

Duncan expresses confidence that a harmonised Regulatory method will help boost and sustain strong economic growth in the region.

The conference opened with a Seminar for Regulators, Exchanges and Depositories in the region, followed by the public conference with speakers and panellists drawn from Regulatory agencies, investment funds, inter-regional economic bodies, as well as eminent researchers and academics.

The WACMaC is expected to become a major biennial event for the capital market community in the region and is jointly organised by WASRA, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the West African Capital Market Integration Council (WACMIC), and the West African Monetary Institute (WAMI).

Peace PIAK