Dr James Ndahiro, Chairperson of the Rwanda Stock Exchange, said East African countries should form a single stock market by 2015. He is quoted in the local Standard newspaper as telling a conference in Nairobi: “Financial markets contribute to 28% of the region’s gross domestic product, which stands at $80 billion. This is a very big percentage from one sector, which should be nurtured to promote further growth.”
He said that the growth of stock and capital market would help East African countries liberate themselves from dependence on foreign aid.
Companies cross-listing their stocks and offering shares to citizens of the 5 countries without discrimination was one step, he said: “We saw it in Safaricom initial public offering where all citizens of countries in East Africa bought shares as local investors. This was good because it encouraged flow of investment in the region,” he said.
He also said governments should spread knowledge and encourage people, particularly the middle-class, to invest in stock markets and infrastructure bonds: “This is where Governments can find money to develop infrastructure, create employment opportunities and improve the quality of life of its citizens.”
The Summit of the East African Community Heads of State met in Dar es Salaam on 19 April and appointed Dr. Richard Sezibera, who was until April Rwanda’s Minister of Health, as Secretary-General for a 5-year term.