Live from Cairo, launch of African Stock Exchanges Association conference

CAIRO – Ready for launch today (3 Dec) of the 16th annual conference of the African Stock Exchanges Association, hosted by The Egyptian Exchange (EGX). This is the great annual gathering of Africa’s stock exchange leaders, visionaries, regulators, IT specialists, investors and many others.
Speaking last night (2 Dec) at the welcome gathering, Dr. Mohammed Omran, Chairman of EGX, described the problems downtown as Tahrir Square as “a political crisis rather than a security crisis.”* ASEA held its executive committee and AGM yesterday, and Sunil Benimadhu from the Stock Exchange of Mauritius continues his excellent work as chairman of ASEA, while Oscar Onyema of the Nigerian Stock Exchange becomes vice-chairman.
The agenda for the conference includes many topics key to the development of Africa’s markets. Special guests include Huseyin Erkan, CEO of the World Federation of Exchanges.
Agenda
• How does the new approach of the African Development Bank (AfDB) support African economies and investment climate? with Charles Boamah of AfDB.
• How to draw investment flows to African capital markets with David Grayson, Mona Zulficar, Jean-Louis Ekra and Erik Berglof.
• Capital Market Reforms: Impact of Global Regulations on Emerging Market Economies, I have the great honour to moderate this and speakers are Prof Vedat Akgiray, Vice Chairman of IOSCO, Dr Ahraf El Sarkawy, Chairman of Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority and top international consultant Bob Singletary.
• Maximizing the benefit of Africa’s oil & gas – what should exchanges do? (Geoff Rothschild, Peter Mwangi, Joseph Kitamirike, Oscar Onyema and Ekow Afedzie.
• Upcoming IPOs, challenges facing private equity and venture capital firms in Africa – Chip Dempsey, Michelle Essome, Akex Large, Hisham El-Khazindar and James Mworia.
• What are the challenges facing Africa’s SME exchanges in supporting Africa’s entrepreneurs? Lanre Akinola, Sunil Benimadhu, Mohamed Omran, Siobhan Cleary and Cyrille Nkontchou
• The technology equation – managing high IT costs to meet rising demand for speed and efficiency and enable connectivity between markets? Dr. Maher Asham, Sandy Frucher, Oscar N. Onyema, Ekow Afedzie, M. Ibrahim Turhan and Tony Weeresinghe or a colleague.
• Exploring Cooperation Opportunities: Geoff Rothschild, Oscar Onyema, Mustafa Baltaci, Aftab Ahmed.
The conference runs from 2-4 December 2012 at The Four Seasons Nile Plaza hotel. The focus of the Annual Conference of this year is on “Unleashing Africa’s investment potential – what could be done by African capital markets?” The conference has launched a website (www.aseaegypt2012.org) which contains details of the agenda and participants. Look here for registration.

*I and a friend walked over the square yesterday morning and saw many tents and people there with a calm and very determined spirit. The tension seemed less because the large pro-Government marches had been moved to other parts of the city. Within a few metres from the Square shops were open, shoes being polished and people chatting and the EGX continues work as usual a few blocks away. At the beautiful conference hotel, less than 1km away, the Nile and the city are as they have been for centuries.

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