The African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA) conference, that will be held in Kigali late next month, presents the country an opportunity to showcase the competitiveness of the local financial services sector, especially the securities market, Robert Mathu, the executive director of the Rwanda Capital Market Authority (CMA), has said.
Mathu said the conference will also enable visiting delegates to look for partners and investment opportunities in Rwanda’s emerging securities industry.
The central bank conducts a quarterly Treasury bill issuance programme as part of a plan by government to develop the local capital market, as well as fund infrastructure projects as the country seeks to reduce its dependence on aid to finance its national budget.
Rwanda will host the 20th ASEA conference in Kigali from November 27-29.
Mathu encouraged firms to list shares on the exchange, saying more and more sub-Saharan countries are looking at alternative and reliable ways of funding from the capital market.
“This will enable us sustain economic growth and respond to the changing needs,” Mathu added.
He, however, noted that the world economy continues to grapple with the effects of global economic shocks, persistent debt crisis and unfriendly interest rates that continue to handicap many developing economies, especially in Africa.
Sub-Saharan Africa economies alone need over $50 billion annually to finance its infrastructure projects, according to the African Development Bank. This leaves capital markets as one of the reliable financing options to drive economies.
To be held under the theme, “The Road to 2030: Making the African Capital Markets Relevant to the real economy”, the conference will seek to address the disconnect between African micro-economies and capital markets by exploring possible ways stock markets can sustainably address the business needs, and fix operational deficits existing among stock exchanges to make them more competitive on the global stage, Celestin Rwabukumba, the Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE) chief executive officer, noted.
He said capital markets in Africa were currently facing challenges associated with low liquidity, market penetration, few retail investors, technology and low contribution towards the gross domestic products, in terms of raising money.
The conference, which will also mark the 5th anniversary of the RSE, will bring together over 300 global and regional experts in capital markets; regulators; law firms and issuers; domestic; regional and international investors; rating agencies; portfolio and investment managers; government representatives; as well as technology providers and trading participants.
Meanwhile, Mathu said the integration of Rwanda’s financial sector with the region’s capital markets was on course, saying they will use the continental meeting to make key pronouncements concerning the local financial market.