West Africa Securities Regulators Association, WASRA, a body that will support the integration of capital market within the West African Region has been formed.
Director General, of Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Mr. Mounir Gwarzo while signing the Memorandum of Association, MoU, yesterday in Abuja said the idea was borne out of the need for regulators to have close collaboration to support the good work that WAMIC is doing.
One of the key issues in the MoU is the sharing of information, which Mr. Gwarzo explained is very important in view of the fact that the capital market is information driven.
“So once you do not have an opportunity to share information it means you can’t police this market. We have very robust criteria within the MoU which will enhance the sharing of information,” said Mr. Gwarzo.
Another aspect highlighted in the MoU is the setting up of three committees, which are: technical, risk management, legal and regulatory framework committees.
The legal and regulatory framework committee is necessitated by the need to harmonise the various laws, rules and regulations that abound in all the jurisdictions of the West Africa sub region who are members of WASRA.
The committee on risk management is expected to work out a module on how to monitor what goes on in the market.
“We also have a committee on market development and it will look at issues that have to do with market development, new product and how the market is going to be integrated.
“Those three committees will begin to work and we agreed that each of the jurisdictions will look at members that will be in that committee and begin to move from there,” Mr. Gwarzo further stated.
Earlier, he told journalists that the members had a lengthy meeting before the signing of the MoU.
He informed that for quite a while, they had been thinking of how the regulators can come together to form an association t support the integration of the capital market within the West African Region.
He said: “You are aware of the existence of WAMIC whose aims and objectives are to see a means of bringing the capital markets within the West African region together.
“What we have not had is a close collaboration and close interface within the Commissions so that they can also support the good work that WAMIC is doing. Even in International Organisation of Securities Commissions, IOSCO, one of the objectives they have set out is integration within the member countries. Already the East African countries have one, the Middle East have their own associations and are doing quite well.”
Secretary General, Counseil Regional De L’Epargne Publique Et Des Marchès Financiers, CREPMF, Mr. Mory Soumahoro, was unanimously elected to chair the association for the next two years, Director General, SEC, Ghana Dr. Adu A. Antwi and SEC Nigeria DG are on the board.
DR. Antwi said they have seen some progress in the area of integration in the region, and what will back this progress is for regulators to have their own association which will lead and ensure that what WACMIC is doing will become a success “since we are the people that interface with government on policies.”
Mr. Soumahoro said one of the reasons of forming WASRA is to have an association that would ensure that rules and regulations are unified and “we have an integrated market.”
“We always wanted the regulators to have their own body as policy makers so that what WACMIC is doing can be stronger. Am happy to note we are on course and we believe that this association will achieve the objectives of ECOWAS to ensure that the states are integrated,” said Mr. Soumahoro.

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