Africa is ready to establish the Pan-African Stock Exchange to help the continent mobilise the much-needed financial resources for accelerated industrialisation, the African Union (AU) commissioner for economic affairs Maxwell Mkwezalamba has said.
He saidin Abidjan, Ivory Coast at the on-going conference of ministers of economy and finance that the Pan-African Stock Exchange would help the continent to attract big corporations for investment.
“With the Pan-African Stock Exchange, we would be in a position to mobilise resources for industrialisation. It is something the African Union wants to establish. It is a process that we have to start now,” said Mkwezalamba.
He noted that all the existing stock exchanges in Africa are small compared with the larger ones in America, Asia or Europe where many African-related companies are listed.
“In my view, Africa can now start to build a major African stock exchange. This could especially benefit African businesses, especially smaller and midsized companies for which an African exchange could be a good alternative to listing in other continents.
“It will also help to further develop the financial markets in Africa,” said Mkwezalamba.
He said it is not necessarily wrong for African companies to be listed on other continents, but that there should be at least one Pan-African stock exchange on the continent.
AU says the continent is now much more ready for an international competitive stock exchange than before because developed countries have turned their interest to Africa.
Experts meeting in Abidjan say Africa is much more capital rich now than only a few years ago and that the education level has increased with a number of well qualified Africans (both in and outside Africa) in the finance sector that can oil the wheels of the Pan-African Stock Exchange.
The time frame and implementation of the Pan-African Stock Exchange will be agreed at the meeting later in the week.