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Sweden and East African Community Agree to Promote Regional Bond Market with World Bank and IFC Support

Nairobi, Kenya, November 18, 2013 —Following agreements signed today by Sweden and the East African Community to facilitate expansion and deepening of East Africa’s financial markets, the World Bank and IFC, members of the World Bank Group, announced their backing for the initiative. Sweden’s support, through the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), to the EAC will focus on bond market development in East Africa and will be implemented by the World Bank and IFC.
“Sweden is honored to provide support to the East African Community in her efforts towards regional integration, said Johan Borgstam, Ambassador of Swede to Kenya. “Increasing development of capital markets and accelerated financial sector reforms are vital avenues for integrating East Africa into the global financial economy and attracting international capital.”
The new program, the Efficient Securities Markets Institutional Development East African Community or ESMID EAC, will be an integral part of the larger Financial Sector Development and Regionalization Project being managed by the EAC with World Bank support. It supports the EAC develop a harmonized financial sector legal framework and link market infrastructure to facilitate cross-border transactions.
“This program will further support the EAC partner states to develop a single regional market in financial services,” said Enos Bukuku, EAC’s Deputy Secretary-General, during the signing. “ SIDA’s collaboration with the EAC will benefit the EAC Secretariat, capital market regulators, central banks, and all other players in the EAC capital markets.”
ESMID EAC aims to contribute to improving the bond issuance by streamlining requirements and regulations and building regulatory capacity. It will work toward improving secondary bond markets to increase liquidity and broaden market participants. The program will also pursue a government bond market development strategy and roadmap to benchmark development of the regional market and encourage a professional investor base to expand the number of bond issues.
“IFC is committed to promoting the development of local currency capital markets in East Africa,” said Oumar Seydi, IFC Director for Eastern and Southern Africa . “ Our new program in partnership with Sweden and the East African Community will allow us to work together with our World Bank colleagues to build the foundation for housing and infrastructure projects requiring long term capital to raise local funds in their own markets.”
This initiative has developed from the ESMID regional Africa program, which is also a joint IFC-WB initiative in partnership with SIDA. It assists East Africa and Nigeria to build local currency bond markets to finance projects in infrastructure, housing and microfinance. ESMID Africa has advised on improving local regulations, procedures for issuing, investing in, and trading bonds, knowledge and capacity of all securities markets participants, including regulators. It is building an East Africa regional marketplace to create markets with greater critical mass and attract larger issuance and investment.
About the World Bank Group
The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world. For more information, please visit , , and .