The Ghanaian government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will co-host a regional conference on 28 October, in Accra, on the opportunities and challenges of financial integration in West Africa, an IMF statement said on Tuesday.
The statement, sent to PANA in New York, stated that the conference would bring together senior policy makers from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), financial sector representatives and experts from international financial institutions.
It said that the one-day conference would address financial sector issues that could have broad implications for the region’s future economic prospects.
Mr. Naoyuki Shinohara, IMF Deputy Managing Director, who will co-chair the event, said: “At a time of rapid and positive economic change in Africa, financial integration had emerged as an increasingly important factor that could help lift the region to the next stage of
“This is certainly the case for the countries of West Africa, where a dynamic financial environment offers considerable promise, but also some risks,” he noted.
The statement disclosed that Mr. Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, the Vice President of Ghana, will join Mr. Shinohara in welcoming regional participants to the one-day event.
It said that discussions would 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,” it stressed.
PANA learnt that sessions at the conference would 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.