In a bid to cultivate a culture of professionalism, ensure minimum competencies and boost industry standards, practitioners working in the capital markets space will now be required to undertake two professional courses, as part of a market certification programme introduced by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA). The market certification program is a joint collaboration between CMA and the UK based Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments (CISI). The market certification program will require market-facing staff of intermediary firms to obtain a minimum level of qualifications if they are to practice within the industry.
Speaking at the launch of the programme, the CISI East Africa Representative, Kimacia Gitau thanked CMA for leading the way on capacity building initiatives in Uganda, and in turn promoting professionalism within Financial Services.
"What the CMA Uganda is launching today is the first step to capacity building and enhancing the skills in Uganda's capital markets. The certification programme combines the most popular CISI qualification - the International Introduction to Securities & Investment,with local regulations; and when combined, these give you the building blocks from which to develop your skills, define you career and commit yourself to becoming a professional."
In his remarks, Mr. Keith Kalyegira, CEO of CMA observed that enhancing the quality of intermediation in Uganda's capital markets is critical to successful implementation of Uganda's transformative Capital Markets Development Master Plan.
"Implementation of the Master Plan requires highly skilled market practitioners; well trained and knowledgeable market practitioners will in turn strengthen the efficiency of Uganda's capital markets ecosystem. Additionally, improved competencies are expected to enhance fundraising, boost the confidence of both domestic and international market players and drive activity upwards."
Mr. Kalyegira further revealed that certification had been agreed upon at a regional level and Uganda now joinsKenya, Tanzania and Rwanda in ensuring its implementation.
While officiating at the launch, Finance Minister, Hon. Matia Kasaija said that Government is committed to increasing productivity of labour through aligning and building the skills necessary in the job market.
"Government is cognizant of the fact that fostering the development of capital markets can be a strong spur for economic growth. Deep, vibrant capital markets are essential for a thriving private sector that creates jobs and enables the economy to achieve its full potential", said Hon. Kasaija.
"Capital markets by their nature provide an avenue where those who require capital seek out others who wish to invest their excess funds. The process of bringing together those with funds and entities that need the funds such as companies requires skill and knowledge. I am delighted to note that CMA is taking a step towards ensuring that the process of linking those with capital and entities that need it is made more efficient by ensuring that market participants have the prerequisite skills and competencies."
The Minister also acknowledged the support from the Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSDA) in facilitating the pilot programme which was launched in 2015, and the eventual role out.
In 2016, a total of 28 participants (including staff of CMA, the exchange and brokerage firms) took part in the pilot phase for the International Introduction to Securities and Investments (Africa). Later in2017, 29 participants were enrolled for the second phase of the pilot programme for the the Regulations and Market Practices (Kenya) paper. These are the two papers that intermediaries will be required to undertake for now, as the programme evolves.
The CISI has so far accredited the Uganda Institute of Banking and Financial services (UIBFS) and Abacus Business School to provide tutorial services for different courses in Uganda. The availability of trainers will ease the process of rolling out the certification program, as target employees can be trained at the partner tutorial centres in due course.