For the 48th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) that was held in Davos, Switzerland between 22-25 January, Absa partnered with Endiro Coffee, one of the premier coffee brands in Uganda and a client of the bank to sample participants to Ugandan coffee.
Absa set up a pop-up venue in Davos at which a selection of entrepreneurs from key African markets such as Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and Ghana were invited to showcase some of the continent’s finest products.
“The presence of these businesses at this forum tells a rich story of Africa’s potential as an economic hub to the rest of the world. Our clients are the core of our business and we are glad to have partnered with them to showcase their products to the business community that is gathered here,” said Maria Ramos, Absa Chief Executive.
According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, Uganda’s exports consist of mainly agricultural commodities with coffee accounting for 20% of total export earnings which stood at USD3.4 million in 2017/18.
In addition, Absa in partnership with the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF), introduced the Absa Africa Financial Markets Index at a breakfast meeting held in Davos attended by world leaders, policy makers and the business community. The index is a premier indicator of the attractiveness of Africa’s financial markets, for use by governments, investors and asset managers around the world.
The Index does not only help investors understand where to invest and what risks they have to manage; it also helps each country to better understand areas where they need to improve to attract foreign direct investment.
“The development of well regulated, deep and liquid financial markets is a key priority that should be at the top of Africa’s development agenda. The Index facilitates a meaningful debate about the maturity and accessibility of Africa’s financial markets. It is an important contribution that supports policy-makers, investors, regulators and other market participants to identify the areas and initiatives which will drive the most significant improvements,” Absa Chief Executive Maria Ramosremarked.
The Index has become the benchmark used by the ranked countries to self-reflect on the state of their financial markets and what developmental actions they need to take. In the past year, Botswana, Kenya and Nigeria have moved up the Absa Africa Financial Markets Index, and South Africa remains in top position, supported by strong financial market infrastructure and a robust legal framework.
This year’s edition extends coverage to three additional countries – Angola, Cameroon and Senegal – and pays special attention to policies for enhancing market growth, including financial inclusion and investor education. Countries are progressing with policies that support the development of financial markets across the continent. South Africa’s ‘twin peaks’ strategy for improving financial regulation and Mozambique’s ‘financial sector development strategy’ stand out among the frameworks introduced over the past year. Such initiatives have boosted performance for the index as a whole.