A cross-border trading platform connecting seven of Africa’s leading stock exchanges was launched yesterday, December 7, in Abidjan. This linkage provides access to more than 1,000 of Africa’s largest and most promising companies, companies with a market capitalization of almost $1.4 trillion (total value of listed shares).

The African Exchanges Linkage Project (AELP – www.africanexchangeslink.com ) trading platform is an order routing system and enables the sharing of market and order book data. Technology company DirectFN deploys a system that was broadcast on November 18 after the beta testing period.

The launch featured a live screen link that demonstrated a trade order sent from stockbroker FGI Finance Gestion Mediation in BRVM exchange in abidjan to nairobi stock broker Dyer and Blair buy 10 Kenya Commercial Bank shares at KES 37.00 each. Equity trader Elizabeth Njoroge at Dyer and Blair placed the order in a few clicks Nairobi Stock Exchange to be executed and sent an order from Nairobi to Abidjan to purchase Sonatel shares on the BRVM (Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières).

35 traders with securities on 7 exchanges

The first phase of the AELP will take place in 14 countries: Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, Mauritius, South Africa and the West African Economic and Monetary Union, which includes Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. According to project manager Lina Tonui, 35 stock brokers have signed up so far.

She explained that this linkage also involves several regulatory processes in each market, and thanked national regulatory authorities for their commitment to ensure the continuation of cross-border trading.

Edoh Kossi Amenounve, president of ASEA, said yesterday: “With AELP, we are entering a new era of African capital markets where all our members will gradually trade cross-border from one African stock exchange to another. This project represents a great opportunity for investors and issuers across the continent.”

Ahmed Attout, African Development Bank’s Capital Markets Development Manager, said: “We are delighted to be working with ASEA through this process, which will culminate in the launch of the African Exchange Linkage Project Link Trading Platform. AELP is a transformational project that aligns with the 5 priorities of the African Development Bank, particularly “Industrialize Africa” and “Integrate Africa”. It is also in tandem with the objective of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, which is to create a liberalized market to promote the movement of capital, facilitate investment and deepen the continent’s economic integration.

AELP is a joint initiative of the African Securities Exchange Association (ASEA) and the African Development Bank. The Bank is financing the phased implementation of the project through a grant from the Korea-Africa Fund for Economic Cooperation (KOAFEC). For more news, see Press Release.

AELP provides training programs for financial market professionals on cross-border investment practices and investment rules across participating markets. The programs have benefited financial market regulators, securities traders and dealers, securities administrators, central bankers and other stakeholders.

The African Development Bank and ASEA jointly supported the establishment of the African Stockbrokers and Securities Dealers Association (ASSDA) as a pioneering pan-African platform for cooperation between stockbrokers for capital markets integration.

There are big plans ahead, Lina Tonui said, with AELP eventually expanding to all 26 ASEA member exchanges. Botswana and Ghana’s stock exchanges are due to join Phase 2 in 2023, while Anne Clayton, director of public policy and regulatory affairs at the JSE, said the next plan is to expand functionality to include an integrated settlement and payments platform.

Congratulations to the new ASEA President and Vice President

Congratulations to Thapele Tsheole, CEO of the Botswana Stock Exchange, who was elected as the new President of ASEA at the 7th December General Assembly, and Celestine Rwabukumba, CEO of the Rwanda Stock Exchange, who was elected Vice President. Congratulations also to Temi Popoola, CEO of the Nigerian Stock Exchange and Mrs. Abena Amoah, Managing Director of the Ghana Stock Exchange, who both join the Executive Committee. Mr Tsheole takes over from Edoh Kossi Amenounve, CEO of BRVM, who was president for two years and advanced key projects including the implementation of AELP.

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