Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has asked capital market regulators in the West African Sub-region not to stand in the way of financial technology (FINTECH) innovations.
Rather, he said, regulators should give FINTECH, which is the driver of the next industrial economy, the space it needs to thrive.
“We as regulators should not stand in the way of the fintech innovation. They are the ones going to drive our next industrial economy and we should give them the space,” he said.
Dr. Bawumia said this during his keynote address at the West Africa Capital Market Conference (WACMaC) 2021, in Accra themed, “Deepening and Strengthening the Capital Markets Across West Africa Through Effective Regulation”.
Citing an example of how FINTECH is already an integral part of economies, he said, “a few days ago in a meeting with Google executives they pointed out to me, which came as a pleasant surprise, that for instance, last year, the tech sector in Nigeria contributed more to Nigeria’s GDP than oil.
This is symptom of the major change that is taking place in the global economy. We say that data is the new oil and that is the real practical manifestation of that in Nigeria.”
He said so much is happening across the African continent that regulators are not taking note of in the tech sector.
“So, we are becoming increasingly digital in the economies including Ghana. The rise of digitalization and FINTECH raises questions such as whether to expand regulatory and supervisor privileges, whether the new types of digital financial services fit into the existing regulations, how to identify, monitor and mitigate the risks of FINTECH innovations and FINTECH firms.
There are also question of whether FINTECH could affect financial stability or change how central government operates,” he said.
Dr. Bawumia said the conference was thus being held at a time when the sub-region needs to develop a strong financial capital market with standards that meet the current market developments.
Director General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Nigeria and Chairman of the West African Securities Regulators Association (WASRA), Lamidi A Yuguda, said the theme and sub-themes of this year’s conference are geared towards integrating and deepening the capital markets in the region.
He said since the inception of WASRA in 2015, some remarkable achievements have been made, such as the Laws and Rules on the regulation of cross-border transactions; successful hosting of the 1st Biennial Conference in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire; and the conscious efforts on broadening membership of the Association.
“The Association is committed to implementing the recommendations of the 1st edition of the WACMaC to address issues on lack of capacity and skills set required to carry out cross border transactions, differences in regional macro-economic policies and the need for collaboration between regulators and their regulated entities,” he said.
He expressed the hope that the key takeaways from the conference will the association in establishing a very robust and vibrant integrated capital market.
Director General of the SEC-Ghana, Rev. Daniel Ogbarmey-Tetteh in his welcome remarks called on member states in the sub-region to get on board as WASRA pursues the noble path of establishing an integrated capital market.
BY Jamila Akweley Okertchiri