The Africa Credit Rating Summit, hosted by Metropol Corporation Limited on September 20, emerged as a pivot to meeting Africa’s demand for fair rating and increased recognition of Africa-owned rating firms.
The summit touched base on three issues among them Africa Sovereigns which are up in arms over bias rating or procyclicality, case in point bitter exchange over Kenya’s Eurobond buy-back plan.
Unfair rating by three global rating firms, S&P, Moody’s and Fitch has seen a number of regions including Kenya lose US$.74.5 billion in interest and opportunity cost.
This even as Sam Omukoko, the Group Managing Director and Founder of Metropol Corporation, who graced the summit, underscored the growing awareness of credit rating’s significance across the African continent.
He emphasized that credit rating is an emerging practice in Africa, necessitating collaborative efforts to promote the newly established rating agencies and encourage the adoption of credit ratings within various sectors on the continent.
“Recognizing the significance of credit rating is an emerging practice on the continent, it’s crucial to join forces in promoting the newly established rating agencies and encouraging the adoption of credit ratings across various sectors of African economies,” said GMD Omukoko.
James Murigu, Director of Metropol Corporation, also shed light on a critical aspect of credit rating agencies.
Murigu said that rating agencies not only assign credit ratings but also play a vital role in assisting companies in enhancing their financial profiles.
By working closely with rating agencies to address gaps in their financial systems, companies can improve their overall financial health and attain better credit ratings.
This, in turn, facilitates easier access to credit for these companies.
To foster greater understanding and acceptance of credit ratings among consumers, Murigu said that “there is a clear need for intensified consumer education efforts.”
The summit was also graced by Ndiritu Muriithi, Metropol’s Economic Policy Expert and Advisor, who asserted that the Africa Credit Rating Summit represented the commencement of numerous conversations regarding the pivotal role of Credit Rating as a key service within the financial services sector, investment landscape, and decision-making processes in Africa.
“I’m delighted that we’ve hosted the first webinar, and we’re looking forward to the second installment next month. We plan to conduct a series of webinars aimed at informing and engaging decision-makers across the continent,” said Ndiritu.
The Africa Credit Rating Summit served as a valuable platform for engaging discussions and insights into the growing significance of credit rating within the African context.
It played a crucial role in deepening understanding of the benefits and diverse applications of credit ratings across various industries in the region.
Metropol commenced the rating business in East Africa in the year 2000 by customizing the D&B rating for companies in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania to support cross-border trade for exports and imports into the region.
Two years later, the company commenced the development of the SME Rating which was supported by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the European Union (EU) in funding and technical assistance. This project comprised 45 Banks from Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania which provided the required data for the analysis and development of the methodology