The Role of Technology in Unifying Africa’s Capital Markets

Eugene Tawiah CEO and co-founder of SecondSTAX

  • Can you elaborate on the current state of African capital markets and the challenges they face in terms of fragmentation and accessibility for investors outside their respective jurisdictions?

Despite having some of the best-performing stocks and bonds globally, Africa’s exchanges are largely inaccessible to investors outside the jurisdictions where they are domiciled.

The siloed nature of these exchanges as well as insufficient data on the risk profiles of assets has led to limited access to capital for markets and limited access to high-growth assets for investors.

  • SecondSTAX aims to unify African capital markets through technology. Could you explain how your platform facilitates seamless investment and trading across borders, and what specific technological innovations enable this integration?

We facilitate seamless investment and trading across African borders by leveraging innovative technologies such as our cloud-based smart order management and execution routing system which allows investors to trade across multiple African exchanges with ease. 

Our integration of liquidity partners on our platform has mitigated the risks involved with currency disparities and exchange and has aided us in facilitating a seamless trade environment and also in reducing the impact of currency volatility on our users.

Lastly, our platform provides investors with access to real-time and the latest trading news, emerging research on trends and economic data from reliable local sources. This feature allows investors to make informed decisions by having necessary data accessible on a single platform.

  • Collaboration and integration within African capital markets are crucial for fostering economic growth and development. How does SecondSTAX work with exchanges like the Nigeria Exchange Group, Ghana Stock Exchange, and Nairobi Securities Exchange to promote this collaboration, and what benefits does it bring to investors and issuers? 

Through our collaboration with the Nigeria Exchange Group, Ghana Stock Exchange, and the Nairobi Securities Exchange and the utilization of our portal, we significantly expand our users’ access to high-growth assets, effectively opening up African capital markets to a broader audience of both local and international investors. 

These partnerships not only enhance market liquidity but also foster intra-region trading, ultimately integrating African capital markets. Furthermore, our alliances with the African Securities Exchanges Association and African Development Bank facilitate the seamless movement of investments between exchanges and licensed investment firms, empowering firms to engage in trades beyond their domicile jurisdictions within the African region. 

By offering a centralized database of information, we empower investors to make well-informed decisions about their assets, further strengthening the efficiency and transparency of African capital markets.

  • In what ways do you see SecondSTAX contributing to the promotion of innovative financial solutions for African businesses? Can you provide examples of how your platform supports businesses in accessing capital and expanding their operations?

Our intuitive, cutting-edge cloud-based platform facilitates seamless investment and allows investors to securely buy and sell stocks and bonds across multiple African exchanges with ease. 

We aim to streamline the investment process and enable investors to manage their investments from a single portal, providing functionality for every aspect of the investment lifecycle—from know-your-customer (KYC) verification to account onboarding through to trading and settlement in multiple local currencies.

Our partnerships with renowned brokerage firms such as Kestrel Capital (Kenya), Databank Group (Ghana), and Afrinvest (Nigeria) allow for investments to be made in native currencies thus allowing for an easier pathway to wealth accumulation in Africa. 

Also, our partnerships with multiple exchanges enhance economic growth and investment opportunities in those regions, allowing businesses greater access to more affordable long-term funding from capital markets supporting their growth and increasing market liquidity.

  • With the rapid advancement of technology, what opportunities do you foresee for further enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of African capital markets? How do you envision SecondSTAX evolving to capitalize on these opportunities?

New technologies serve as an enabler and force multiplier to improve the lives of investors across the globe. This is true for developed countries and is certainly the case for the African continent as well. Artificial (General) Intelligence (AI/AGI) is very relevant to the evolution of the African capital markets, and we are already incorporating it into our platform as a way to synthesize timely trade ideas from the rapidly changing news, detailed research and market trading data available across the various stock and bond exchanges in Africa. 

This will democratize investing, making the African capital markets dramatically more accessible to everyone, from the savvy professional trader through to the novice investor, looking for the opportunity to grow their wealth. 

With 100+ years of combined technology and finance experience deploying complex large-scale systems and having built similar products and services at globally renowned firms, our team of experts at SecondSTAX believes we can create the frameworks that shall be used to turn these unique insights into opportunities for investors to trade more effectively and generate improved investment returns across Africa.

  • One of the goals of SecondSTAX is to attract investments from both African and international investors. How does your platform address concerns about regulatory compliance and investor protection in cross-border transactions?

We partner with well-established licensed brokerage firms with a multi-decade track record of trading and execution excellence within their local capital market jurisdiction, ensuring we efficiently operate and mitigate emerging risks within the regulatory frameworks of the markets we operate in. This also helps us to securely leverage the robust existing market infrastructure for trade facilitation and settlement thereby encouraging trust and credibility with both the regulatory bodies and investors.

  • Looking ahead, what is your vision for the future of African capital markets, and how do you believe SecondSTAX will contribute to realizing this vision? Additionally, what role do you think technology will play in shaping the future landscape of capital markets in Africa?

We hope for a unified African capital market, and in five years, we will be successfully integrated into major African capital markets, and be a trading and execution vendor partner commanding at least 25% of all African capital market transactions into and between these markets. We would also have launched services to support the investment goals of retail investors, facilitating simple transactions for them. We expect that by enabling the shift to a more efficient capital markets ecosystem in Africa, we will reduce the overall cost of funding for projects in both the private sector and the public sector.

The use of technological inputs on our platform will result in a vibrant capital markets ecosystem which should drive growth for all African emerging economies.


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