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On behalf of the African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA) and the host of this year’s event, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, I wish to extend to you a warm welcome in advance, as a participant in the 19th Annual ASEA Conference, to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa from the 15th to the 17th of November, 2015.

The Annual ASEA Conference is the flagship event of the Association. It brings together key stakeholders within the African capital market ecosystem, including stock exchanges, issuers, trading participants, domestic and international investors, regulators, government representatives, technology providers, legal advisors and the media.

This year’s theme is: “Africa Evermore”. It embodies the potential, growth and stability of Africa’s capital markets. Africa has enjoyed a period of steady growth in recent times, defying global shocks to become an investment destination of choice. With expected GDP growth above 5.0% in 2015 and the world’s largest youth demographic, Africa is well positioned to compete effectively with economies like China and India over the next 20 years. Capital markets have been the key drivers of this economic transformation and they continue to play a central role in Africa’s growth story.

The upcoming Annual ASEA Conference will be an opportunity to share our experiences and insights through high level discussions covering issues that are relevant to African capital markets. It will be an excellent opportunity to engage and network with leading industry players from across the continent, as well as a platform to consider the implementation of best practices for a stronger and more sustainable capital market environment. I look forward to seeing you all at the 19thAnnual ASEA Conference.