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Deepen capital market • WB Country boss urges SEC

By: Emmanuel Bruce
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Mr Henry Kerali, World Bank Country Director
Mr Henry Kerali, World Bank Country Director

The Country Director of the World Bank, Mr Henry Kerali has asked the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to introduce measures that will further deepen the capital market.

He urged the regulatory body to introduce more products on the capital market in order to take advantage of the growing private pension funds and insurance funds in the country.

Speaking at the maiden Ghana Finance Week, he said the country’s growing fund was being invested in real estate and external stocks due to the limited number of products on the capital market in Ghana.

“The SEC must strengthen its regulatory framework and all the systems needed for an operational capital market. This will make it easy for the pensions and insurance funds to invest back into the country,” he stated.

“The capital market should be made to operate much moré efficiently,” he added.

PPP Bill
The country director also urged the government to expedite action on the passage of the Public Private Partnership Bill which had been drafted and awaiting Cabinet’s approval.
He said that would provide a better framework for attracting private investments into social and infrastructure development in the country.

“We need a comprehensive PPP Act.The PPP is a key area where funds will come from the private sector to support public investments so the government must prioritise this area and pass the bill quickly,” he noted.

“There are a number of PPPs currently available, but they are all without a framework,” headed.

Public investment guide
Mr Kerali also advised the government to come with a public investment guide that would outline its top public investment priorities to the private sector.

“It should also outline what it intends to put on the table if the private sector was to support some of its public investment,” he said.

“A public investment guideline is critical for attracting private capital,” he added.

Increased partnership
The Assistant Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ghana, Mr Louis Kuukpen, also called for increased partnership between the government and the private sector in providing the funding needed for implementation of the SDGs.

He said the level of funding needed for implementing the SDGs was beyond the government’s capacity given the volumes of resources required.

Statistics from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) indicates that achieving the SDGs by 2030 would require an annual investment of about US$7 trillion globally.

Mr Kuukpen said considering the current levels of investment and public financing, there was an estimated funding gap of between US$1.9 trillion to US$3.1 trillion globally.

“Indeed, even though foreign direct investment to developing countries has increased, it is observed also that there are no signs that official development assistance will meet demands of the SDGs,” he said.

He said in the context of Ghana, unlocking the potential of local and international innovative financing to accelerate the SDGs was very crucial considering that government’s revenue was inadequate.

In this context, he said, to achieve the SDGs in full, the optimum potential of the financial system ought to be harnessed to deliver the transition to sustainable development.

About Ghana Finance Week
The Chief Executive Officer of Precise Communications Limited, organisers of the programme, Mr Stephen Gyasi-Kwaw, said the Ghana Finance Week was designed to showcase and highlight the best in finance, as well as foster and encourage financial inclusion, while encouraging networking and business creation opportunities for all.

He said the meeting was to also assist in creating a platform where financial service providers and regulators could exhibit and promote their products and services and thus bridge the financial inclusion gap and help to achieve the SDGs.

“It is also to promote excellence and innovation in the financial industry and educate and inform the public on the products and services that can help them in their lives and businesses,” he said.