Absa Africa Financial Markets Index 2022

Index shows improving market infrastructure in majority of countries in the region

Now in its sixth year, the Absa Africa Financial Markets Index evaluates countries’ financial development based on measures of market accessibility, openness and transparency. The aim is to show how economies can reduce the barriers to investment which can, in turn, boost sustainable growth.

Scores are determined by the relative, rather than absolute, performance of each country across six key pillars: market depth; access to foreign exchange; market transparency, tax and regulatory environment; capacity of local investors; macroeconomic environment and transparency; and legal standards and enforceability.

In addition to quantitative data analysis, OMFIF conducted surveys of over 50 organisations across Africa to produce the index. This includes responses from central banks, securities exchanges, regulators, market participants, accounting firms and international development organisations.

The index has become a benchmark for the investment community to gauge African countries’ market infrastructure and is used by policy-makers to learn from developments across the continent.

Key findings include:

  • South Africa, Mauritius and Nigeria maintain their positions in the top three this year, as they continue to score highly on measures of market depth, transparency and enforceability of legal agreements.
  • Uganda rises two places to fourth, while Namibia and Kenya improve their ranking within the top 10. Scores for these three countries primarily rose due to progress on adopting ESG policies and frameworks.
  • Seventeen countries in the index now have sustainability-focused policies – five more than last year.
  • Foreign exchange reserves adequacy has generally weakened relative to the previous year. Ten AFMI countries have received International Monetary Fund financing in 2022, worth a cumulative $1.6bn, to cushion the blow from external shocks.
  • Several countries are using digital technologies to improve market access, information and inclusion, while initiatives to integrate financial markets across Africa are gathering momentum.

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