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 Corporate executives jointly display the just-launched the Barclays Africa Financial Markets Index in Dar es Salaam yesterday. From right are Barclays Bank Tanzania (BBT) Managing Director, Abdi Mohamed, BBT Director for Corporate and Investment Banking, Esther Maruma, Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange Chief Executive Officer, Moremi Marwa, Barclays Head of Africa Trading, Corporate and Investment Banking, George Asante and Barclays Africa Chief Economist and Head of Research, Jeff Gable.
Barclays Bank Tanzania (BBT) Managing Director, Abdi Mohamed (left), and a Bank of Tanzania (BoT) Acting Director Financial Markets,  Emmanuel Akaro, exchange views during the official launch of Barclays Africa Financial Markets Index in Dar es Salaam today.

A survey of the stock markets of 17 African countries by Barclays Africa Group has rated Tanzania’s financial markets 11th overall with a score of 44% in the continent ahead of the likes Morocco (42 %,) Ivory Coast (41%) and Egypt (39%). South Africa with a score of 92% was ranked first.

The Africa Financial Markets Index (AFMI) advocates for the expansion and deepening of financial markets across the continent. The Index measures six pillars namely: depth and breadth per instrument or product that can be traded; access to foreign exchange; market transparency, tax and regulations; macro economic opportunity; legality and enforceability. The index measured and tracked 40 indicators across the six pillars.

“The Index provides countries with valuable insights and tools to improve the state of their financial markets,” said Abdi Mohamed, Managing Director, Barclays Bank Tanzania. “By broadening and deepening their understanding of the requirements of local and international investors, Africa’s leaders can develop robust markets – a prime condition for sustainable, inclusive growth,” he added.

Tanzania scored second highest ranking in East Africa in Market transparency, tax and regulatory environment pillar, ahead of Uganda, Kenya, Ghana and Morocco. It outpaced some Western African peers in the market depth pillar, which focussed on areas such as the range of financial products, currencies and hedging options available and capacity of local investors’ parameters.

The survey however challenged Tanzania to improve on its accessibility to foreign exchange and its increase in capital controls which have contributed to low scores within in the report. Improving the regulatory and policy environment is a prerequisite for attracting foreign capital,” said Mr. Asante. “The inaugural Barclays Africa Group Financial Markets Index is an important barometer measuring the progress and potential of Africa’s financial markets.”

“African financial markets have traditionally suffered from a lack of depth relative to other regions,” said George Asante, the Barclays Head of Africa Trading, Corporate Investment Banking “This”, he added, “has been a key factor holding back the ability of firms and investors within and beyond the continent to exploit expansion opportunities.”

The Barclays Africa Group Financial Markets Index was produced by the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) in association with Barclays Africa Group Ltd in the course of last year. The Index ranked the maturity, openness and accessibility of the 17 financial markets in Africa, based on both qualitative and quantitative criteria. Development of local investor capacity and ability to attract foreign capital were also key points of focus.

Institutions surveyed emphasized the importance of increasing small and medium-sized enterprises’ access to financial markets, including through dedicated market segments, as a vital means of deepening markets. “While many African countries are implementing a growing number of national policy frameworks for market development, there are still several challenges we are facing,” said Abdi Mohamed, Barclays Bank Tanzania Managing Director. 

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