The high attendance at the 2022 Bonds, Loans & Sukuk Africa conference held at Cape Town International Conference in early March, was evidence of the lack of face-to-face networking over the past two years. The event was the first large-scale, in-person gathering of the African financial markets hosted on the continent since the start of COVID-19. There was a tangible buzz in the air with all the top industry leaders and innovators in attendance. It felt great to see so many familiar faces, from key industry players and clients to colleagues and friends. The pandemic’s continued impact felt by global and emerging markets remained an overarching theme, but new topics emerged that stimulated interesting debates.
“Conceptually, our local fixed income market is both looking for, and supportive of, improvements to the way things are done”.
The audience attendance and energy left one feeling that Africa’s future funding is in good shape
The conference has become more African-focused in recent years, and this theme continued with the 2022 event. It was also encouraging to see ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) and Sustainable finance as a topic of discussion throughout. The continent continues to require heavy infrastructure spend to achieve its short- and long-term goals and it is reassuring to see that both these themes are top of mind. Overall, the audience attendance and energy left one feeling that Africa’s future funding is in good shape, both from local and foreign investors. Though there are challenges to overcome, there is dedicated support and understanding from these markets too.
“…it is only going to be through collaborative discussions like today’s panel for real change to start happening”.
The industry is optimistic about technology’s role in helping to grease the wheels of liquidity
With a little bias, our favourite session was the panel discussion Addendum Funding Solutions participated in by invite, titled: Unpacking secondary market liquidity: Opportunities, challenges, and next steps.
As an up-and-coming technology infrastructure provider in this space, we joined two local banks and a buy-side representative in a conversation around the challenges faced by the fixed – income secondary market players. The good news for the industry is that all parties are committed to doing their part in helping the secondary market become more liquid. This is not a small task, but the journey is well underway, and the industry is optimistic about technology’s role in helping to grease the wheels of liquidity in the coming years.
Ian Norden, founder of Addendum Marketplace and panelist, had this to share after the session: “Conceptually, our local fixed income market is both looking for, and supportive of, changes to the way things are done. However, there are no disillusions around the scale of the task at hand and it is only going to be through collaborative discussions like today’s panel, for real change to happen. We are excited to be a part of this change and remain committed to bringing efficient technology solutions to this space.”