Author Archives: ghanajes

Harmonistion, a possible solution to stock markets of the CEMAC region

 

The CEMAC Community Regulatory Instrument (COSUMAF) settles for simultaneous operations of the Douala Stock Exchange (DSX) and the Stock market of the Sub region (BVMAC) to promote economic development.

   

The development of stock markets of the Economic Community of Central African States, (CEMAC) has always been retarded, mainly because of the lack of integration and dynamism of their financial markets. 10 years after both stock markets( BVMAC and DSX) went operational the six Central African States are yet to benefit from the financial operations, because of the duplication of expenses, poor allocation of resources, different operation procedures, competition, difficulties of accessing accounting and financial information and complex access to markets which greatly contributed in scaring investors. On the basis of statistics published by the CEMAC Community Regulatory Instrument, the present capital of the regional financial market stands at only 131.9Billion FCA, 10 years later. (The capital of Cameroon’s Douala stock Exchange is 25.5billion and the sub-regional Stock market in Gabon is 157.4billion FCA).  

In a 2day meeting organized by COSUMAF, the CEMAC Community Regulatory Instrument, under the theme, “The development of the financial market in Central Africa”, the college of financial regulators of the sub region traced a new perspective to harmonize the operations of the BVMAC and Douala stock Exchange. Alexandre Gandou, the president of COSUMAF, explains that the bringing together of both stock markets will re-establish trust. He says, “It is not all about promoting one of the stock markets and suppressing the other. COSUMAF will makes sure that both of them are efficient and it should be a place where Cameroonian companies, the Congolese, Gabonese businessmen increase funds to finance growth, in order to give sense to our integration.”The college of regulators resolved to consolidate both stock markets by harmonizing operation procedures.

In spite of all the lofty recommendations during the seating, some financial and economic experts remain very skeptical about the progress of financial markets because of the absence of political will. According to some participants at the conference, quotations in both markets will only increase if the governments of Cameroon and Gabon settle their decade old political differences that arose during the creation of the stock markets.

                                                                                                                                                   Jessie Bawak

 

Is Funeral Insurance Worth It?

People throw money into the grave at every funeral and families are left with huge debts afterwards. Insurance experts proposed a funeral insurance as a way out to deal with the cost. Will tradition embrace the funeral policy package?

This is the final resting place of a young man and his family and friends are in their black outfit, bidding him farewell. His coffin is laid to the 4meters depth and the wreaths are thrown. The expression of pain in the eyes of his family is intense, the sorrow unbearable. The priest solemnly says the prayer and the songs echoes because of the quietness at the cemetery. His family will mourn for long, but the mourning will be longest because of the funeral debts incurred.
In Ghana, a funeral costs as much as GHC 20,000 ($28.000), including video coverage, wreaths, obituaries and then of course the coffin.

Daniel Obiri is the owner of a coffin workshop at Teshie in Accra. He has been in the business for the past 20 years. Every day, nails are hammered on the different wood sizes to shape a new coffin. He has a variety in his workshop: aeroplane coffins , some with bottle shapes, Pineapple and even a Bible coffin. However, most of his customers buy on credit which has led him to incur huge debts owing to about GHC 1500 ($2.100).

Preparations for funeral are not only expensive at the level of buying coffins. Digging new graves and painting them for a new burial is also a cost. Death, even though unavoidable, needs to be prepared well in time. According to Daniel to whom death is a daily reality through the coffin business, insurance for the education of his four children and his car are immediate priorities. Not his funeral.

“If I had a will, I would have a funeral insurance for my aged mother but tradition in Ghana frowns on saving for bad events.” Daniel says. Insurance experts are however trying to break that traditional thought.

Salamatu Ali a funeral insurance expert says, monthly contributions of GHC 5 ($7) for 10 years could save some immediate funeral expenses and can lead to family not incurring debts even when the bread winner is no more.

ESTHER AIDOO / JESSIE BAWAK