Financial markets

Facilitating the development of financial markets

Limited or no access to financial services can stifle business expansion, particularly in the case of SMEs. Facilitating the development of financial markets can strengthen the private sector, increase investor confidence, and bring important benefits to businesses of all sizes.

Commodity Exchange Modernization

ICF is working with the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange ECX to provide market players with a modern, efficient, transparent and reliable platform for commodity trading. This is being done through a ground-breaking initiative that will migrate the Exchange and its market actors in the commodity and agricultural sector from a “Pit” trading system into an electronic trading platform, known as the e-Trade Platform.  Initially, trading will be restricted within the ECX Trading Center in Addis, and eventually will be rolled-out to the newly-built trading platforms across the country.

The project is expected to :

  • Increase ECX’s capacity to perform 5,000 times more trade transactions than previously;  increase trade efficiency, transparency and accessibility
  • Increase the number of market players and enable them to participate directly in electronic trading from anywhere via a secure access
  • Increase exports earnings from introduction of new commodities on the Exchange
  • Increase smallholder farmer earnings due to better price discovery
  • Build the capacity of over 400 traders and enhance the knowledge base on commodity exchange in Ethiopia

Financial Sector Task Force

A Financial Sector Task Force was established in partnership with ICF investors to look at improvements required to remove obstacles which prohibit private sector access to financial markets.

The objective of the Task Force is to identify and advise ICF on ‘ready to implement’ projects that will remove barriers to access.

Journalist Training

ICF partnered with the Thomson Reuters Foundation to launch a groundbreaking training programme for business journalism in Africa.

The programme focused on raising the standards of business, financial and investment journalism across the continent with the aim of ensuring that greater trust is put in the region’s media reporting. Training took place in six locations in Africa. High performing participants from the first round of training were then selected to pursue further training in Paris and London.

A review from the Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) noted that there were improvements in participants' writing skills, as well as better sourcing and understanding of economic concept. The participants also benefited from increased confidence, heightened professional status, expanded networking and more practical experience. The training also benefited other journalists who did not attend but received shared skills and techniques from colleagues. In addition, 31% of the programme beneficiaries secured job promotions.

Tunisia »

Stock Exchange Capacity Development

ICF is working with the Government of Tunisia to strengthen professional training and investor education capacities of the Tunis Stock Market. This initiative will broaden the investor base and encourage more enterprises, especially small and medium ones, to get listed on the Tunis Stock Exchange so that they can use the capital market as an alternate source of funding.

Already, 12 IPOs have registered in 2013, (compared to 2 in 2012, and 1 in 2011). More than 90 professionals have been trained in Corporate Finance, Asset Management and Islamic Finance. 60 out of 14 candidates have passed the CISI certificate for Corporate Finance.

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