Taarifa Rwanda

Experts Brainstorm On How SMEs Can Get Onto Capital Markets

Walking out of board rooms and mingling with traders and business persons on the streets of the regional states could make capital markets more attractive than ever before – Financial experts have advised during the East African Capital Market Day conference in Kigali.

Africa is currently bracing for disruptive technologies and the regions Capital Market industry would not want to be left behind in this 4th industrial revolution.

This conference has been running under the theme; “Showcasing East Africa’s Economic Vibrancy and the capital market’s place within the region”.

Dr. James Ndahiro, the Chairman of Rwanda Stock Exchange that also organised the conference in partnership with  East African Securities Exchanges Association that there is need to assess the relevance of new technologies.

“We need to hear from you experts how to prepare for the future, do we want to participate in the innovations so that we can be part of the disruptive technologies…they are challenges but they are opportunities in the capital market industry in East Africa,” Dr. Ndahiro said.

With hundreds of delegates at the conference and a host of 29 speakers under one roof at Kigali Serena Hotel, the two-day conference has concluded with key recommendations;  sharing more information on local Capital Markets, Getting SMEs capital Ready and Redefining the value proposition of local capital markets.

However, as Rwanda is marking 11 years since establishment of its Capital Market sector, it has been a tough challenge convincing more Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to get list on local stock market.

An initiative such as media campaigns has not delivered the desired results of pooling these SMEs onto the stock exchange market and this still remains a hard nut to crack.

Dr. Ndahiro proposed the need to educate the public the importance of saving through the capital, we need to be innovative by explaining how the capital market operates as we are dealing with masses

For Luke Kinoti, Co-Founder and Former CEO of Fusion Capital considers that packaging of information on how to save and invest through the capital market should be simplified in manner to help investors understand that message.

In a protracted campaign Celestin Rwabukumba CEO of Rwanda Stock Exchange promises, “We shall educate the general public from all walks of like on the role of capital market in a simplified manner so that they can join our market easily.”

Rwabukumba was appearing on a panel moderated by journalist Berna Namata and composed of Dr. Diane Karusisi from Bank of Kigali, Dr. Pierre, Rose Mambo, CEO, Central Depository Securities Corporation, Kenya and  Luke Kinoti-Co-Founder and Former CEO of Fusion Capital.

For Dr. Karusisi, “We are working hard alongside our colleagues in the capital markets and stock exchanges to demystify the capital market industry.”

She added that it was possible to save through capital markets instruments for the short and long term.

“Let’s simplify the message and believe in ourselves as EAC market, we need to take our stories and message to our people,” she advised, adding, “Coming to the market, you need to understand your business and what kind of investors you need for your business.”

Kinoti epressed concern that the existing capital Markets are not communicating well to intendend targets; “We need to simplify the language of investment and speak in the manner the investors understand.”

This conference was a multi-stakeholder forum that will seek to drive impactful deliberations for the growth of East Africa by engaging in meaningful conversations that will stimulate investment opportunities.

In the wake of uncertainties and biases in the international capital Markets, delegates were brainstorming during the 2nd Plenary session whether Domestic and regional instructional investors would fill in the gaps in the situation of International capital flight.

Moremi Marwa CEO of the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange PLC (DSE) argues that something needs to be done with policy, regulations and investor institutions to create relevancy with domestic investors within our markets.

However, for Rwanda’s Capital Market Authority CMA, Executive Director Eric Bundugu submitted that they are putting in place a conducive environment to help them raise long-term funds from the capital market.

In his submission, Maurice Toroitich the Managing Director of BPR_AtlasMara hoped the conference would help drive what SMEs can gain from the capital markets other the usual way of getting capital from financial institutions.

“In some instances it is a question of knowing whether SMEs business need financing and if so, what kind of financing they need,” said Toroitich.

The SMEs that still elude players in the capital market industry, Panelist Jean Claude Rwubahuka says that SMEs owners should be educated on the importance of the capital market to grow their businesses.

For Uganda’s Securities Exchange CEO Paul Bwiso;  “If we are to provide a solution for capital markets, we need to get everything on the mobile phone because it will address most of the issues we are facing.”

Jackson Kiminje, from Nairobi Securities Exchange emphasized the need to rethink Investment education, sharing more information on Capital Markets, getting SMEs Capital ready and redefining the value proposition of our capital markets.

Statistics show that recently, the financial markets and particularly the capital markets have largely contributed to he domestic economies and are now heavily involved in strategic developmental plans in their respective countries.

For instance, in Kenya, the largest economy in the EAC region, the equities market stood at 27% to the nominal GDP in 2018 while the market capitalization of Rwanda’s bourse, the RSE stood at 42.03% of the country’s GDP in the same year.

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