Nigeria has been identified as one of the top financial market leaders in Africa and among 19 African countries that has lifted its performance in 2022 despite difficult environment.
Consequently, Nigeria, South Africa and Mauritius reportedly maintained their positions in the top three this year on the Absa Africa Financial Markets Index (AFMI), as they continue to score highly on the measures of market depth, transparency and enforceability of legal agreements.
The report also showed that Uganda rose two places to fourth, while Namibia and Kenya improved their ranking within the top 10.
Scores for these three countries rose due to progress in adopting environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies and frameworks, according to the index produced by the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) in association with Absa Group Limited.
However, survey respondents expressed concern over capital flight, rising prices and/or monetary tightening due to the Russia-Ukraine war.
Seventeen countries in the index now have sustainability-focused policies – five more than last year. However, foreign exchange reserve adequacy has generally weakened relative to the previous year.
Ten AFMI countries have received International Monetary Fund financing in 2022, worth a cumulative $1.6 billion, to cushion the blow from external shocks.
Arrie Rautenbach, CEO, Absa Group, said: “The number of countries scoring above 50 in the index has doubled since our first edition in 2017 and the gap between the leading trio and the mid-pack has shrunk considerably. Impressively, 19 countries lifted their performance in 2022, even in a difficult environment.”
Despite macroeconomic headwinds, advances in sophistication, depth and transparency of African capital markets represent a considerable plus, stated David Marsh, Chairman, OMFIF.
“A range of African countries now leads the field in key spheres. In one prime example, Africa has forged ahead in meeting requirements from investors targeting economic sustainability. There are many areas on which to build.”
The index measures financial market development in 23 countries across Africa, highlighting economies with the most supportive environment for effective markets.