West African Capital Market on the Way: A New Financial Package from the World Bank Will Assist the Countries of the West African Economic Union to Take the Next Step and Create an Internationally Competitive Regional Capital Market. Gordon Feller Has the Details

By Feller, Gordon | African Business, May 2004 | Go to article overview

West African Capital Market on the Way: A New Financial Package from the World Bank Will Assist the Countries of the West African Economic Union to Take the Next Step and Create an Internationally Competitive Regional Capital Market. Gordon Feller Has the Details


Feller, Gordon, African Business


The World Bank recently approved a $408.69m financial package to assist the West Africa Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) become more internationally competitive. The money will be used by the eight member countries to build and connect infrastructure and finances and to develop the capital market.

The financial package will help the WAEMU governments intensify their ongoing efforts to consolidate economic and financial activities to better compete in global markets. The governments' want to create a more functional common market, with common tariff and commercial policies, supporting the free circulation of people, goods, services, and capital.

In addition to major financial and economic reforms, WAEMU countries have developed a regional transport strategy laying the foundation for an inter-connecting road system to link the eight countries.

The WAEMU Capital Market Development Project will contribute to the economic growth of the WAEMU countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Guinea Bissau, Senegal and Togo, home to a total of 72m people, and their efforts to improve the availability and affordability of modern infrastructure and financial services.

"Once the project is implemented, a resident of Mali will be able to travel easily by road to Niger, Benin and Burkina without impediments", explains Noel K Tshiani, World Bank Task Team Leader and Project Manager. "This is exciting because it will facilitate a free circulation of people and goods and can contribute significantly to economic growth and market integration. It will increase intra-regional trade and provide more opportunities for people."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

EFFICIENT AND LIQUID REGIONAL CAPITAL MARKET

A major impediment to West African regional economic growth has been the lack of diversified financial products and services for individuals and businesses. This initiative is part of a broader regional strategy to create a stable economic environment for investors and increase foreign direct investment.

The population would benefit from the development of an efficient and liquid regional capital market supporting the countries' financing needs with resources for businesses and individuals to finance investments. …

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