African Markets Build Resilience in A Challenging Environment
Absa Africa Financial Markets Index shows improving market infrastructure in majority of
countries in the region
African countries have responded positively to the need to develop domestic financial markets to
protect economies from external shocks, OMFIF’s 2022 Absa Africa Financial Markets Index reveals.
Even as challenging market conditions weighed on performance in the index, 19 of the 26 countries
improved their scores relative to last year. This was largely due to broad-based progress in
developing sustainable financial markets, which is becoming increasingly important to global
While Namibia, Uganda, and Kenya are among the countries with the greatest increase in scores,
Zambia’s overall score improved from 52 in 2021 to 54 in 2022 driven by the significant decrease in
inflation and improved growth outlook. Notably, the Lusaka Securities Exchange unveiled the LuSE
Gem Portal, which is a digital platform designed to provide financing to Zambian small-and-medium-
They have bolstered their environmental, social and governance market frameworks and, in Kenya,
climate risks have been incorporated into financial stability regulation. Greater product diversity has
lifted scores for most countries too, including Angola and Lesotho which both issued their first initial
public offerings over the past year.
The Absa Africa Financial Markets Index, now in its sixth year, presents a broad view of financial
market progress. The index continued to evolve this year. Coverage has expanded to 26 countries
with the addition of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, and Zimbabwe.
The index also recognises the contribution of digital initiatives and innovations to African financial
market development. While not directly impacting scores, the report highlights countries’ progress in
upgrading market infrastructure, transparency and regulation using new technologies. It also sheds
light on various financial inclusion initiatives which help to build a broader domestic investor base.
Continued progress on sustainability, digitalisation and financial inclusion will be crucial to improve
Africa’s appeal and access for investors, enabling the continent to develop its resilience to any future
Zambia’s key findings include:
- The Lusaka Securities Exchange unveiled the LuSE Gem Portal, a digital platform designed
to provide financing to Zambian small- and medium-sized enterprises.
- Despite the global stock market turmoil, Zambia’s market capitalisation rose in dollar terms.
- The Bank of Zambia announced that they are exploring the viability of issuing Central bank
- Zambia received approval for the $1.3bn Extended Credit Facility deal from the IMF in 2022
which may pave the way for restructuring with Zambia’s private bondholders.
- Zambia is one of the 17 countries that now have sustainability-focused financial policies which
provide for incentives for issuing ESG assets and market standards.
- Zambia is working to upgrade market infrastructure by driving the financial inclusion agenda
through the implementation financial literacy programmes, including supplementary financial
education materials for teachers and pupils in secondary schools.
- Zambia saw the biggest reduction in its share of non-performing loans to gross loans which
contributed to its higher scores in Pillar 5 this year.
- Zambia, Seychelles and Angola saw their currencies strengthen and inflation decline over the
- With support from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Front clear is working
with the Bank of Zambia and the country’s financial sector to develop a customised onshore
guarantee facility for repo transactions, which would build best practice application of GMRA
Overall AFMI scores, 2022 vs 2021
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David Marsh, chairman of OMFIF, commented: ‘Africa looks an attractive investment destination
based on capital market structures that actively guide adequate risk pricing. There are many areas on
which to build. Unstinting efforts by the private sector – together with the International Monetary Fund,
multilateral development institutions and our network of partner institutions around Africa – are
required to extend these positive changes.’
Charles Russon, Chief Executive of Absa Corporate and Investment Banking said the index has had
a positive impact on the development of financial market infrastructure, product development and
policy on the African continent. ‘Now into its 6 th year, this index has stimulated transparency in
markets, enhanced policymaking and allowed for the development of Africa-focused alternative
investment products that will have an impact for generations to come. We look forward to continuing
to contribute to the building of more robust markets and attracting investment capital.’
The index was also welcomed by influential global policymakers. Antonio Pedro, acting executive
secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, said: ‘The 2022 Absa Africa
Financial Markets Index, with strengthened geographic coverage and thematic scope, serves as an
important tool for policymakers and regulators in the development of financial markets on the African
continent. It provides in-depth comparative analysis to support the formulation of policies for long-term
financial market development.’
About the index
Now in its sixth year, the Absa Africa Financial Markets Index evaluates countries’ financial
development based on measures of market accessibility, openness and transparency. The aim is to
show how economies can reduce the barriers to investment which can, in turn, boost sustainable
Scores are determined by the relative, rather than the absolute, performance of each country across
six key pillars: market depth; access to foreign exchange; market transparency, tax and regulatory
environment; capacity of local investors; macroeconomic environment and transparency; and legal
standards and enforceability.
In addition to quantitative data analysis, OMFIF conducted surveys of over 50 organisations across
Africa to produce the index. This includes responses from central banks, securities exchanges,
regulators, market participants, accounting firms and international development organisations.
The index has become a benchmark for the investment community to gauge African countries’ market
infrastructure and is used by policymakers to learn from developments across the continent.
This year’s index was launched during the IMF/World Bank meetings in Washington on October 13
[Absa Africa Financial Markets Index launch 2022 – OMFIF].
Below are pictures of the Absa Zambia Overview of the 2022 report on the Africa Index.
For further information contact:
Nikhil Sanghani, Managing Director, Research OMFIF
James Fitzgerald, Deputy Head of Events and Marketing, OMFIF
Andile Makholwa, External Communications Manager, Absa Group
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