Nairobi, 17 TH January 2018 …A survey of the stock markets of 17 African countries by
Barclays Africa Group has rated Kenya’s financial markets the most advanced in the East African
region and 5 th with a score of 59% in the continent ahead of economic giants like Nigeria (53 %,)
Ghana (49%) and Egypt (39%). South Africa with a score of 92% was ranked first.
The Africa Financial Markets Index (AFMI) advocates for the expansion and deepening of financial
markets across the continent. The Index measures six pillars namely: depth and breadth per
instrument or product that can be traded; access to foreign exchange; market transparency, tax
and regulations; macro economic opportunity; legality and enforceability. The index measured and
tracked 40 indicators across the six pillars.
“The Index provides countries with valuable insights and tools to improve the state of their financial
markets,” said Jeremy Awori, Managing Director, Barclays Bank of Kenya. “By broadening and
deepening their understanding of the requirements of local and international investors, Africa’s
leaders can develop robust markets – a prime condition for sustainable, inclusive growth,” he
Kenya scored the highest ranking in East Africa attributed to its strong contract enforcement
policies, market depth as well as the capacity of local investors, ahead of Uganda, Tanzania,
Rwanda and Ethiopia.
It outpaced its East African peers in the market depth pillar, which focussed on areas such as the
range of financial products, currencies and hedging options available and capacity of local
investors’ parameters. It also emerged top in East Africa and 3 rd on the continent with a score of
81% behind South Africa (100%) and Mauritius (93%).
The survey however challenged Kenya to improve on areas such as low historical growth in export
market share, low GDP per capita and relatively small market capitalization.
“Improving the regulatory and policy environment is a prerequisite for attracting foreign capital,”
said Mr. Asante. “The inaugural Barclays Africa Group Financial Markets Index is an important
barometer measuring the progress and potential of Africa’s financial markets.”
“African financial markets have traditionally suffered from a lack of depth relative to other regions,”
said George Asante, the Barclays Managing Director and Head of Markets (Africa ex. SA). “This”,
he added, “has been a key factor holding back the ability of firms and investors within and beyond
the continent to exploit expansion opportunities.”
The Barclays Africa Group Financial Markets Index was produced by the Official Monetary and
Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) in association with Barclays Africa Group Ltd in the course of
The Index ranked the maturity, openness and accessibility of the 17 financial markets in Africa,
based on both qualitative and quantitative criteria. Development of local investor capacity and
ability to attract foreign capital were also key points of focus.
Institutions surveyed emphasized the importance of increasing small and medium-sized
enterprises’ access to financial markets, including through dedicated market segments, as a vital
means of deepening markets.
“While many African countries are implementing a growing number of national policy frameworks
for market development, there are still several challenges such as limitations on the range of
assets available for local investors,” said Jeremy Awori, the Barclays Kenya managing director.