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SEC Conducts Regional Securities Market Oversight Training Program in Africa


Washington, D.C., Sept. 24, 2009 — As part of its longstanding activities to increase international cooperation among securities regulators, the Securities and Exchange Commission has completed the latest of its training programs for foreign officials.

The five-day Capital Market Development and Oversight Training Program, which included foreign officials in Africa, concluded last week.

The program in Accra, Ghana, was part of the SEC's technical assistance training program, which was established in 1991 and has provided training for more than 1,800 foreign capital market officials from more than 100 foreign jurisdictions this year.

During the recent program, SEC staff conducted intensive training for foreign officials on methods for conducting investigations of insider trading, financial accounting fraud, market manipulation, pyramid schemes, and broker-dealer abuses. The training also included instruction on broker-dealer examinations, compliance, anti-money laundering, market development strategies, and the causes of the global financial crisis.

In addition to the SEC instructors, each day also featured sessions led by market experts from Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Nigeria regarding the challenges of capital and commodities market development in Africa. The discussions emphasized the potential that commodities and capital markets have to transform African economies.

The regional African program was the SEC's largest to date in Africa, featuring 99 delegates from 10 African countries: Cameroon, Cote D' Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia. The program was hosted by the Ghana Securities and Exchange Commission, and included financial sponsorship from the United States Agency for International Development.

Professor E.V.O Danquah, Chairman of the Ghana SEC, said, "The Ghana SEC is proud and honored to have hosted this invaluable opportunity for key officials from so many African markets to come together with the U.S. SEC to discuss how we may work together to build African capital markets and combat market abuse. This week-long program featured an incredible exchange of best practices, practical experience, and an intense dialogue among participants on how we may all work together to ensure that our markets develop with a reputation for integrity that will attract both local and international capital."

Ethiopis Tafara, Director of the SEC's Office of International Affairs, said, "We are honored to be invited to work with so many market leaders who, while facing many challenges, have the potential to grow transparent, high-quality capital markets that will ultimately serve to support infrastructure, create jobs, and reduce poverty. Our growing partnerships with African regulators will help us better protect our own market, as well as create new opportunities for all investors. Moreover, fostering high-quality capital and commodities markets can contribute to self-sustaining development among African nations."

The SEC's technical assistance training program consists of bilateral and regional training programs, assessments, consultations, and review and comment on statutory and regulatory initiatives.

For more information on the SEC's technical assistance program, contact Dr. Robert M. Fisher or Z. Scott Birdwell in the Office of International Affairs at 202-551-6690 or OIA@SEC.gov.

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Modified: 09/24/2009