The Committee of Insurance, Securities and Non-Banking Financial Authorities (CISNA) has opened its permanent Secretariat in the Republic of Mauritius and is now poised to fulfill its role in the achievement of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Vision 2050.
CISNA is a Non-Banking Financial Institutions (NBFI) regulator’s body which enables Member Authorities to support the real economy in various ways, including mobilising savings, facilitating the management of risk, maintaining information on alternative investment opportunities, enabling the exchange of goods and services and monitoring the use of capital.
CISNA was established in 1998 out of the willingness and determination of SADC governments to promote effective exchange of experiences and cooperation in the regulation and supervision of the insurance, pension, capital markets and other non-banking financial sectors, to achieve the objectives of the SADC Region.
The CISNA permanent Secretariat will be hosted by the Financial Services Commission in Mauritius, which will also provide office space, staff and other relevant facilities including ICT, operational and administrative costs.
Speaking at the official opening of the CISNA Secretariat in Ebene, Mauritius, on 28th October 2022, Chairperson Mr Kenneth Simataa Matomola said this marks an important milestone in the history of CISNA and comes at a time when it is at the threshold of its silver jubilee anniversary.
Mr Matomola said CISNA has an integral role in contributing to better regulation and supervision of NBFI, increased cooperation and collaboration among SADC Member States, covering areas that include market infrastructure and capital market development and deepening, prudential and market conduct supervision, financial system stability, risk management in the regional financial systems, and training initiatives and development within the Region.
Since its creation in 1998, the CISNA Secretariat services were provided by the Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA) of South Africa. Mr Matomola noted that while this arrangement was adequate at the beginning, it could not support the growing demand for secretarial support that was required by CISNA over the years. Member authorities from across the Region then realised the need for a permanent Secretariat which could assist SADC in its vision to be a peaceful, inclusive, competitive, middle- to high-income industrialised region, where all citizens enjoy sustainable economic well-being, justice and freedom.
Mr Matomola said CISNA has, in its Strategic Plan 2022-26, undertaken to contribute to achieving sustainable and inclusive growth, support job creation, and support the industrialisation agenda in the SADC Region. CISNA will do this through harmonisation of the regulatory and supervisory regimes of the Non-Banking Financial Sector.
The Director of Finance, Investment and Customs at the SADC Secretariat, Mr Sadwick Mtonakutha, expressed gratitude to the Government of Mauritius and the country’s Financial Services Commission for hosting the CISNA Permanent Secretariat.
He highlighted that the CISNA Strategic Plan 2022-2026 is guided by the need to support agriculture, mining, and pharmaceuticals as the three key sectors identified in the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap. The creation of national, regional, continental, and global value chains will require the support of Small and Medium Enterprises, whose resident local knowledge will enable the creation of jobs, provide a platform for innovation, and create forward and backward linkages among others.
Implementation of this Strategy, he added, requires strong coordination and this is where the Secretariat comes in. The CISNA Secretariat will coordinate the implementation of the Strategy and will work with the other Secretariats, and more importantly the SADC Secretariat to help in coordinating mobilisation of resources and support with the SADC Secretariat.
Mr Mtonakuta thanked international cooperating partners, in particular, the European Union, for the support they are currently providing for the development of on-banking financial institutions through CISNA. He expressed confidence that with political commitment, adequate regional policy framework and strong institutional set up, the SADC Region will make strides in going from having a comparative advantage to a competitive advantage and realise its ambition to become a middle to high income economy by 2050.
Chairperson of the Financial Services Commission, Mr Mardayah Kona Yerukunondu, said the establishment of the CISNA Secretariat in Mauritius is the beginning of a fruitful journey towards capital market development, sound regulation and effective supervision in the SADC Region.
He said the establishment of the Secretariat at the FSC is testimony of the collaboration between the FSC and the CISNA and their commitment to assist CISNA in attaining its mandate of ensuring that the non-bank financial services regulatory frameworks with SADC Member States are harmonised and comply with best international practices.
Mr Yerukunondu said the growth of Africa’s financial sector over the past few years has been remarkable, noting that the region has great potential as revealed by latest statistics which indicate that the 16-member SADC represents some 340 million people and a Gross Domestic Product of nearly US 780 billion dollars. These figures, he said, demonstrate the potential of the region, especially with trade liberalisation through the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) and increased technology adoption.
The official opening of the CISNA Secretariat was attended by the Governor of the Bank of Mauritius, Mr Harvesh Seegolam; the Chief Executive of the FSC, Mr Dhanesswurnath Thakoor; Board Members of the FSC; and delegates from 12 SADC Member States, namely Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.