The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday signed a cooperation agreement with Financial Sector Deepening (FSD Africa) to support the institutional capacity building of the Commission under its Africa Regulator Support Programme.

The SEC becomes the second capital regulator to formalise its participation in the programme, which is financed by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

The FSD Africa agreement would also support the development of the non-government bond market including corporate and municipal bonds.

FSD Africa was established through UK Aid support in 2012 to help eradicate poverty by building inclusive financial markets.

It works with governments and industry across countries in Africa to support access to financial services, help develop capital markets and instruments for investment and economic growth.

The agreement was signed by Reverend Daniel Ogbarmey Tetteh, the SEC Director General and Mr Evans Osano, the Director of Capital Markets Development at FSD Africa, at the opening of the Third Capital Market Conference and Exhibition.

It was organised in Accra by the SEC to mark its 20th Anniversary.

Under the programme, FSD Africa would fund an institutional capacity assessment to identify the strengths and areas for improvement in SEC’s strategy and operations, conduct scoping study for the non-government bond market and also help to develop Ghana’s private debt market for cedi corporate bonds.

Rev. Ogbarmey Tetteh said the partnership was important in light of the need to deepen capacity of the Commission to enable it to effectively provide regulation to the capital market since it had a critical role to play in the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.

“We are excited and believe that it would be a mutually beneficial partnership for the next two years and the results would be shown,” he said.

Mr Andre Kolln, the Deputy Country Director for DFID, who witnessed the signing ceremony, said the collaboration was an example of DFID’s new approach to partnerships with emerging markets like Ghana and also in line with the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.

He noted that the private sector was key in the change needed to achieve the agenda and a well-functioning capital market was essential in this regard to get companies the financing they need.

“This new collaboration with FSD Africa would contribute to building institutional capacity of the SEC, provide support on developing the corporate bond market in Ghana, and advice on strategy development in the SEC and MOF.

“It would also enable Ghana to connect with capital markets regulators across Africa to share and exchange learning and experience,” he said.

He stated that development of capital markets was critical to enable access to sustainable financing for infrastructure and private sector investment, without adding further strain to the public debt burden and finances, adding that Ghana provided the ideal environment for the programme to succeed.

Mr Evans Osano said FSD Africa was looking forward to working with the SEC and other stakeholders to deepen the capital markets so that Ghana could raise enough long term capital needed for priority sectors.

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