International Monetary Fund

IMF Seminars, Conferences, and Economic Forums

Opportunities and Challenges of Financial Integration in West Africa

Opportunities and Challenges of Financial Integration in West Africa, Regional Conference, Accra, October 28, 2013

Regional Conference in West Africa

Accra, October 28, 2013

The conference focuses on the opportunities and challenges of deeper financial integration in West Africa against the backdrop of a rapidly evolving regional financial landscape. Financial integration means allowing banks in one country to serve customers in other countries; giving governments as well as private firms and households access to a deeper pool of funding and more diverse products to choose from; and providing savers with better opportunities to invest their funds. In short financial integration supports development by making it easier for people to save and invest.

Financial deepening and integration can therefore provide significant benefits for private sector development and mobilization of long-term financing for infrastructure. At the same time, enhanced cross-border financial activity can create risks and challenges to supervisors, calling for closer regional cooperation. The conference brings together senior policymakers, financial sector representatives, and experts from international financial institutions, including the IMF and the World Bank, to discuss how the countries in West Africa can best maximize the opportunities and minimize the risks of deeper regional financial integration.

The conference is by invitation only


Monday, October 28, 2013





Welcoming Remarks

Naoyuki Shinohara, Deputy Managing Director, IMF Speech

Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, Vice-President, Ghana


Session 1: A Changing Financial Landscape in West Africa

The session describes the changing financial landscape in West Africa in the past decade, highlighting the nature and magnitude of cross-border flows and the growing importance of African financial groups. It identifies the main opportunities (increased competition and access to financial services, economies of scale, financial innovation) and challenges (cross-border supervision, consolidated supervision, regional capital flows) arising from an increasingly dynamic and complex financial environment. The session also looks at the factors behind the rise of regional financial hubs.

Chair: Lamido Sanusi, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria

Presenter: Kal Wajid, Division Chief, African Department, IMF


1. Bolo Sanou, Secretary General, Banking Commission, Côte d’Ivoire

2. Abwaku Englama, Director-General, West African Monetary Institute, Ghana

3. Paul-Harry Aithnard, Head of Research, Ecobank, Ghana

Open Discussion


Coffee Break


Session 2: Cross-Border Banking Issues, Supervision and Regulation – Lessons from International Experience

This session explores lessons from international experience of cross-border banking for regulatory frameworks and supervisory practices. Cross-border banking poses particular challenges for both home and host regulators and supervisors in their work to preserve financial stability. Drawing on experience from other parts of the world, the session will look into key aspects of effective supervision, such as arrangements for information sharing, supervision of banking conglomerates, crisis management, and burden sharing.

Opening address by José Viñals, Financial Counsellor and Director, Monetary and Capital Markets Department, IMF

Chair: Mamadou Diop, Vice Governor, BCEAO


1. Agnes Martins, Director of Banking Supervision, Central Bank of Nigeria

2. Christian Durand, Deputy Director General for Economics and International Affairs, Banque de France

3. Kweku Bedu-Addo, CEO, Standard Chartered Bank, Ghana

Open Discussion




Session 3: Mobilization of Long-Term Financing for National and Regional Infrastructure

This session will bring together infrastructure finance practitioners and policymakers to discuss options for infrastructure finance development in West Africa. It will look at prerequisites to establish the enabling environments needed by developers, investors, and financiers to mobilize long-term financing for national and regional infrastructure projects. The session will focus on exploring specific measures required to stimulate investors’ interest in infrastructure projects on the one side, while also proposing concrete steps to develop customized financing solutions, crowding in pension funds and other institutional investors.

Chair: Seth Terkper, Minister of Finance, Ghana

Presenter: Paul Noumba Um, Sector Manager, Financial and Private Sector for West and Central Africa, World BanK


1. Yves Boudot, Directeur Afrique, AFD, France

2. Yu Wen, Deputy General Manager, China EXIM Bank

3. Ato Gyasi, Head of Infrastructure Financing, RMB, Nigeria

Open discussion


Coffee Break


Session 4: Roundtable Discussion: Lessons and the Way Forward

Moderator: Antoinette Sayeh, Director, African Department, IMF


Participating Ministers of Finance

Open discussion


Concluding Remarks

Naoyuki Shinohara, Deputy Managing Director, IMF

Kofi Wampah, Governor, Bank of Ghana


Joint Press Conference