The Government of Ghana and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will co-host a regional conference on October 28, 2013, in Accra, on the opportunities and challenges of financial integration in West Africa. The conference—which will bring together senior policymakers from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), financial sector representatives, and experts from international financial institutions—will address financial sector issues that could have broad implications for the region’s future economic prospects.
“At a time of rapid and positive economic change in Africa, financial integration has emerged as an increasingly important factor that can help lift the region to the next stage of development,” said Naoyuki Shinohara, IMF Deputy Managing Director, who will co-chair the event. “This is certainly the case for the countries of West Africa, where a dynamic financial environment offers considerable promise—but also some risks.”
His Excellency Hon. Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, the Vice President of Ghana, will join Mr. Shinohara in welcoming regional participants to the one-day event. Discussions will focus on the potential benefits of financial integration for private sector development and the mobilization of long-term financing for infrastructure, while also highlighting the risks from larger and more interconnected financial systems. Drawing on the experience of other regions, the conference will crystallize lessons and concrete steps that West African countries can take to maximize the benefits of financial integration.
Sessions at the conference will include an overview of West Africa’s changing financial landscape, lessons from international experience for the supervision and regulation of cross-border banking, and opportunities for increased infrastructure financing.
Additional information about the conference can be found at the following link: http://www.imf.org/external/np/seminars/eng/2013/accra/index.htm