Ken Ofori-Atta, Seth Terkper, former finance minister and other dignitaries after the opening ceremony
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has called on government to make the capital market the fulcrum of Ghana’s industrialization agenda and economic development.
Chairman of SEC, Dr. Yeboa Amoa, made the call yesterday at the 3rd Capital Market Conference held in Accra to commemorate the 20th anniversary of SEC.
Speaking under the theme, “Ghana Beyond Aid: The Role of Capital Market,” he indicated that “the capital market has all the needed impetus to drive long-term capital mobilization and intermediation towards a sustainable development, industrialization and wealth creation.”
He stressed the need to stop over-reliance on bank loans or short-term capital to industrialize the country.
That, he said, was because “no nation has used bank loans or short-term funds to industrialize. They have always depended on either bank based or stock exchange based capital markets to industrialize.”
Dr. Amoa stressed that “it’s time for this country to seriously turn to the capital market for its industrialization.”
He appealed to government to support the development of the capital market in Ghana.
“In the same vein, we expect government commitment in the area of bonds market development – corporate bonds, municipal bonds and agency bonds. SEC is ready to partner government to enable its agencies and municipalities to issue bonds for development and make them adopt the discipline of the market place to become more transparent and efficient in their operations and service delivery to the Ghanaian public as in other countries.”
The chairman said “while other governments have helped to build strong capital markets by divesting their State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) through their respective Stock Exchanges, as well as provision of incentives to their private sector enterprises listed on their respective Stock Exchanges, we have not experienced same in this country, except only half-hearted attempts in the past.”
“We therefore urge this government to make a 360 degree turn in its policy commitment to Ghana’s capital market development.”
Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Marfo, in a keynote address, called on SEC to start laying the foundation for municipal and district assemblies to be able to access the capital market for capital for strategic investments.
According to him, “In this direction, government will endeavour to build appropriate capacity and provide adequate legal framework to the municipal and district assemblies to be able to borrow responsibly from the capital market to finance economically viable local projects aimed at accelerating development in the districts and regions of the country.”
Through such policy, he said, SEC and government would be able to develop not only the local sovereign bond market but strong and viable municipal bonds market in Ghana.
The Senior Minister disclosed that “in furtherance of this, government will also be conducting an exercise in all government agencies to identify those that can issue agency bonds to finance capital expenditure. It’s gratifying to note that Ghana Airports Authority, Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority and many other agencies already qualify to issue such bonds.”
Meanwhile, SEC has signed an agreement with Financial Sector Deepening (fsdafrica) to strengthen Ghana’s capital market.
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, who made a presentation on the theme for the occasion, said “we are confident that the Ghana Beyond Aid will be achieved.”
By Melvin Tarlue