West African Capital Markets Integration Council (WACMIC)
The West African Capital Markets Integration Council (WACMIC) was inaugurated on 18th January 2013 as the governing body for the integration of capital markets in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The over-arching objective of the Council is to establish a harmonized regulatory environment for the issuance and trading of financial securities across the region. WACMIC comprises the region’s Commissions and securities exchanges in WAEMU, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Cape Verde.
The Council is tasked with designing the strategic framework and managing the implementation of the process that will facilitate the creation of an integrated capital market in West Africa.
The work carried out under the auspices of WACMIC will lead to the integration of financial markets in three (3) major phases:
- Integration Phase 1: Sponsored access trading (Brokerage firms);
- Integration Phase 2: Common passport for qualified West African brokers in the ECOWAS;
- Integration Phase 3: Establishment of a common trading platform in the region.
Integration Phase 1 – Sponsored access trading
Based on recognized agreements, the ECOWAS Member State brokers can trade and settle securities in markets other than their jurisdictions through local brokers in those jurisdictions.
Integration Phase 2 – Common passport
The qualified brokers who receive a common passport will be mutually recognized by Stock Exchanges, Regulators and Depositories. These Qualified West African Brokers (QWAB) will then be able to deal directly in the securities markets across the other ECOWAS Member States without having to conclude a partnership with a local broker.
Integration Phase 3 – Fully integrated West African capital market
At this stage, all WACMIC Member Exchanges will be linked in a virtual West African Single Market (WASM), and QWABs will have access to listed securities and related market information to enable them to execute transactions in the region. The settlement banks will be able also to raise capital across the region.
Phase 1 – Sponsored Access Trading – began on 1st April 2015 and the first transactions were executed on 15 July 2015.