Capital markets essential for Africa's prosperity - Kagame

Capital markets have a huge role to play in Africa's economic development, President Paul Kagame has said. The President was earlier today opening a high-level international conference in Kigali, dubbed "Capital Markets East Africa 2015: Accelerating Economic Development".

Capital markets have a huge role to play in Africa's economic development, President Paul Kagame has said. The President was earlier today opening a high-level international conference in Kigali, dubbed "Capital Markets East Africa 2015: Accelerating Economic Development".

Delegates are discussing the opportunities availed by nascent capital markets in the region and their role in stimulating long-term, inclusive development.

Addressing an audience of more than 300 experts in capital markets from around the world, Kagame said: “Capital markets are part of the infrastructure of optimism upon which Africa’s prosperity rests”.

“By working to prioritise capital market development, we are opening a new chapter in our story of liberation,” he added.

The two-day conference, the first of its kind in the country, is organised by the Government of Rwanda and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group.

Stressing the need for Africa to work together to tap into the global financial markets, the Head of State said: “We are much poorer than we have any reason to be because we have lacked the ability to accumulate our own wealth.

“No country on our continent on its own is big enough or rich enough to build and sustain the markets that Africa needs”.

Regional, continental and even global integration is more essential than ever before, he said. “By working to prioritise capital market development, we are opening a new chapter in our story of liberation”

Participants will discuss topics ranging from the need for a robust infrastructure for efficient financial markets, human capital investment, the international perspective on domestic issuances and the financing of real sectors through capital markets.

Key speakers at the conference include Dr Richard Sezibera, the Secretary General of the East African Community (EAC); Amb. Claver Gatete, the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning; Andrew Wachira, the Acting CEO of the Nairobi Stock Exchange; and Benno Ndulu, Tanzania’s central bank governor, among others.