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New digital platform to boost inter-Africa market trading

The African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA) has launched an online platform dubbed ‘African Exchanges Linkage Project (AELP)’, to facilitate cross-border trading, foster capital mobilisation, promote sustainability, and enhance financial inclusion across the continent.

African Stockbrokers and Securities Dealers Association (ASSDA) Organising Secretary Willie Njoroge says: “This is a historic moment for Africa, to finally actualise the linking of stock exchanges across Africa after many unsuccessful attempts over the last two decades."

The development comes after ASEA signed a contract with DirectFN for the design and implementation of the AELP Link trading system in the seven markets.

The link, which is hosted on the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), has been designed to integrate with exchange and broker trading systems, and is available in English, French and Arabic.

It also aggregates live market data from the exchanges and enables brokers to access information and see the market depth and liquidity of the foreign market of interest.

Seven securities exchanges - Bourse Regionale des Valeurs Mobilieres (BRVM), Bourse de Casablanca, The Egyptian Exchange (EGX), Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), and Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM) are part of the first phase of the project, before its rollout to all ASEA members.

ASEA President Dr Edoh Kossi Amenounve says: “Trading infrastructure harmonisation through the link is expected to ease existing trading processes and potentially reduce the cost of trading across African capital markets.”

AELP Phase 1 was funded by a grant from the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation (KOAFEC) Trust Fund managed by the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) CEO Thapelo Tsheole adds: “This project basically opens up for increased inter-Africa trade. It opens up for a huge network among participating countries and increased business opportunities, since local brokers often know the market very well and there will be data transparency hence more deal flows.”

The AELP test environment has been operational since July 2022 and enabled stockbrokers and securities dealers to familiarise themselves with the platform and execute mock trades. This culminated in the completion of the User Acceptance Testing, paving the way for the technical go-live.

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