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Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Absa Bank launches its 7th Absa Africa Financial Markets Index (AFMI)

· The report shows that Tanzania has made significant strides in enhancing its financial market ecosystem

Absa Bank has today released its seventh iteration of the Absa Africa Financial Markets Index (AFMI) which demonstrates that the continent is rapidly maturing and is no longer simply taking the first steps on a developmental journey. There are clear signs that the true potential of the continent is being unlocked.

Speaking today in Dar es Salaam while launching the Absa Africa Financial Markets Index Report 2023 (AFMI), the Deputy Governor Bank of Tanzania – Economic and Financial Policies Dr Yamungu Kayandabila commented Absa Bank for launching the AFMI saying that it shows commitment in promoting transparency and efficiency in financial markets.

‘The Absa Africa Financial Markets Index has become an invaluable tool in assessing the performance and potential of financial markets across Africa, and this morning, we gather here to discuss opportunities for Tanzania's progress, said Dr Kayandabila.

He added, ‘This report provides us with a comprehensive analysis of the continent and Tanzania’s financial markets performance, highlighting the country's strengths and areas for improvement. This report is a testament to the dedication and hard work of policymakers, regulators, and market participants in Tanzania who have worked tirelessly to create an enabling environment for financial markets to thrive’.

He said that he is pleased to announce that Tanzania has made significant strides in enhancing its financial market ecosystem, as evidenced by its improved score in the index. The country's commitment to financial inclusion, regulatory reforms, and infrastructure development has played a pivotal role in driving its progress.

‘What’s exciting to hear, is that the report’s coverage this year has grown to include 28 countries from 23 countries just two years back. Last year, the index welcomed the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar and Zimbabwe, and this year it has added Cabo Verde and Tunisia. This is great evidence that Absa is serious about continuing to improve coverage of the continent and consequently making the index more relevant and effective’, he added.

Dr Kayandabila said that one of the key messages from the report is Tanzania's strong performance in financial market transparency. ‘Transparency is the bedrock of a healthy financial market, as it fosters investor confidence, attracts foreign investment, and promotes economic growth.

By prioritizing transparency, Tanzania has created an environment where market participants can make informed decisions with greater certainty, facilitating the flow of capital and stimulating economic activity’, he said adding that the report highlights Tanzania's efforts in advancing financial market infrastructure which is crucial for the efficient functioning of financial markets, enabling seamless transactions, reducing settlement risks, and enhancing overall market stability. Tanzania's commitment to improving its infrastructure has undoubtedly contributed to its rising score, positioning it as an attractive destination for domestic and international investors alike.

Speaking on behalf of Absa Bank Tanzania Managing Director, the banks Director of Global Markets Esther Maruma said, ‘Since its launch in 2017, the Absa Africa Financial Markets Index has endeavored to demystify the continent as an investment destination. We do this by applying global market standards on key issues such as market accessibility, openness and transparency. The aim is to measure progress in the development of capital markets and demonstrate to individual countries the actions they could take to attract international investment to their markets’.

On his part, the Head of Research for Absa Group Jeff Gable said Tanzania’s overall Absa Africa Financial Markets Index score rose by a half point to 55.5 this year, and the country climbed two places to 10th in the index.

He named the areas where Tanzania scored well as Market transparency, tax and regulatory environment, Market depth, Macroeconomic environment and transparency, Access to foreign exchange, Capacity of local investors and Legal standards and enforceability.

Commenting on Tanzania’s outcome, Mrs. Sauda Kassim Msemo – Deputy Governor Financial Stability and Deepening, Bank of Tanzania, said that “This achievement is a testament to the country's unwavering commitment to creating a vibrant and inclusive financial market ecosystem. I encourage all stakeholders to build upon this success, leveraging the report's findings to guide future initiatives and drive Tanzania's financial market to even greater heights. Let us continue working together to build a prosperous and resilient financial market that will contribute to the overall development of Tanzania.”

Deputy Governor– Economic and Financial Policies, Dr Yamungu Kayandabila (fourth right), and Absa Bank Tanzania Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mr Paul Makanza launches the 2023 Absa's Africa Financial Markets Index report in Dar es Salaam today. Third from the right is Absa Bank Director of Global Markets Esther Maruma.

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