Ethiopia is now in a solid position to start up the country’s pioneer stock market in 2020, which may be called the Addis Ababa Stock Exchange. As one of the growing economies in Africa and as a holder of one-tenth of African consumers, Ethiopia does not have a stock market so far. Within the continent, there are close to Twenty nine stock exchanges that are operating with different caliber by having the Casablanca Stock Exchange of Morocco, founded in 1929, as the oldest exchange of the continent.
The issue of exchange market establishment in Ethiopia has been one of the top agendas in the academia as well as practitioners who are operating and researching around the area. But now the time is approaching for the establishment of the first Addis Ababa Stock Exchange by 2020. This Ethiopia’s plan, which is set to be achieved by 2020, is expected to enhancing the application of modern technology in relation to financial transactions, establishing a system that enables e-commerce, introducing digital financing technologies and commencing capital market.
Of course, there are some impediments in this regard that may be counted as challenges. These includes but not limited to poor legal and financial infrastructure, poor financial inclusiveness and low financial capacity in the sector. In this connection, Ethiopia plans to develop a road-map for bring-in a trade finance instrument that involves capital market.
Of course, Ethiopia is undoubtedly one of the largest economies with having big GDP in the sub-Saharan Africa that does not have a stock market so far. This plan, even though challenging, will have contributions to the economy of the continent in general and to the country in particular that is not distinctive from globalized trade system.
In line with this, it is important to have attention by the Ethiopian policy makers to the following main enabling minimum standards to operate an exchange market. These are,
- The establishment of institutional framework,
- The creation of regulatory laws,
- The familiarization of the system to the local private sector,
- The formation of competitive information technology infrastructure,
- Enabling digital payment systems,
- Creating reliable and consistent financial system, and
- The development of capable manpower
It is planned by the country to start the Addis Ababa Stock Exchange after a year in 2020. Then, the issue is that is it possible to achieve the required institutional, manpower, financial and technological infrastructures within a year? We will see.