Committee Chairperson Statement

A Message from the AFMI Steering Committee Chairperson, Ms Hassatou Diop N’Sele

Acting Vice President Finance and Group Treasurer

African Development Bank Group

The African Development Bank is delighted to present the updated bond data platform of the African Financial Markets Initiative (AFMI), which represents a new milestone in the journey of this important initiative that started back in 2008. The AFMI has been a crucial component and contributor to efforts to help Africa develop its bond markets over the last decade.  This new bond data platform comprises a revamped webpage and updated African financial markets data portal and will contribute to enhancing the flow of information and greater dissemination of data on African markets that had long been an impediment to greater market development.  

It is widely understood that well-established local capital markets play a critical role in the development of countries. This holds very true in the African context where the dearth of local long-term development financing is well documented and African countries have traditionally relied upon development aid and external borrowings to finance crucial infrastructure development. We are convinced that the AFMI will help to breakdown some of the impediments and challenges that currently exist in the continent’s growing capital markets among which include low levels of liquidity, a limited investor base, typically short-dated maturity profiles and high borrowing costs. Addressing these will help position African capital markets to play a greater role in the continent’s economic development.

The African Financial Markets Initiative is being implemented through two key foundational pillars, namely the African Financial Markets Database (AFMD) and the African Domestic Bond Fund (ADBF). The ADBF, the first multi-jurisdictional fixed income Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) on the continent which will help in broadening the investor base in domestic bond markets by not only investing in, but also tracking, the performance of a new series of African Domestic Bonds Indices under the AfDB/AFMISM/ Bloomberg® African Bond Index (ABABI) family. The composite index available to Bloomberg Professional® service subscribers via {BADB Index} has been enriched with two sub-indices (BADBC and BADBX) released in January 2018 to improve African debt market liquidity and transparency. The ADBF will also contribute from a development angle in the identification of issues and challenges in the existing bond market architecture of countries constituting the index which will lead to improvements in the growth in issuance and liquidity of these markets as well as pave the way for other investors that may have in the past limited their participation in those markets. The African Development Bank has taken the lead in this process by sponsoring the creation and listing of this Fund while also acting as an anchor investor with a participation of $25 million. The Bank’s pledge is an important part of its long-standing commitment to the growth of African domestic capital markets. 

We remain very grateful to our network of Central Bank liaison officers representing 43 countries who are pivotal in collecting all the data analysed and consolidated by AFMI, made available on the data portal. This comprehensive African Financial Markets Database which covers over 40 years from 1978, has positioned AFMI as the “Gateway to Africa’s Bond Markets”.

I would also like to thank our partners, particularly the Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA) funded by Japan and Austria, for their continued financial support to AFMI.

We welcome and strongly encourage any feedback you have, to ensure that this platform remains valuable and relevant to your needs as users of information on African financial markets.

Hassatou N’Sele