Seven African stock exchanges launched an integration project in Ivory Coast on Wednesday to facilitate cross-border trading of securities on the continent.
The initiative, called the African Exchanges Linkage project, includes the stock exchanges of Nigeria, Mauritius, Morocco, South Africa, Kenya, Egypt, and West Africa. Ghana’s and Botswana’s will join in a later phase.
The stock exchanges remain distinct markets and there is no cross listing of shares, but investors in different countries can now buy shares on other exchanges through a common platform, which went live on Nov. 18.
“This platform will allow for the development of capital markets in Africa,” said Edoh Kossi Amenounve, general director of West Africa’s regional bourse, speaking alongside the directors of the other stock exchanges.
The project represents 2,000 companies listed for about $1.5 trillion market capitalisation, officials said. It was spearheaded by the African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB).