KIGALI, Rwanda, November 5, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The recently operational East Africa Exchange (EAX) (http://www.africaexchange.com) concluded the first regional trade auction from its Rwanda head office, successfully selling 50 metric tons of maize at 398 USD per metric ton between a Ugandan seller and Rwanda buyer. The auction took EAX one step closer to its ambition to create “one African market” and has given further credence to the importance of regional commodity trading.
EAX is owned by African Exchange Holdings (AFEX) which was formed by Tony Elumelu’s Heirs Holdings (http://www.heirsholdings.com), Berggruen Holdings and 50 Ventures to develop a network of commodity exchanges across Africa to transform trade dynamics and ensure higher incomes for the rural poor. EAX, the first AFEX exchange is the first regional commodities exchange established to link smallholder farmers with agricultural and financial markets, secure competitive prices for their products and facilitate access to financing opportunities.
AFEX Chairman Tony O. Elumelu, CON, said, “East Africa Exchange’s successful first auction is a powerful demonstration of the tremendous value that can be unlocked through this platform. EAX will continue to advance the competitiveness and integration of East Africa’s agricultural markets, as well as bringing tangible improvements to the lives of the region’s farmers. We are looking to replicate this impact in many countries across Africa.”
With a brand new trading platform, powered by NASDAQ, the East Africa Exchange (EAX) has big plans to transform the way small farmers and traders do business within the East African region and beyond. It will provide global market access to local farmers through proven technology.
In the days prior to this first auction, local traders were required to visit EAX offices and undergo training on the NASDAQ OMX electronic trading platform. Over the past four months, the EAX has trained over 50 local and regional traders on the new technology.
The exchange will be a marketplace offering price transparency and wider market access to farmers from across East Africa and beyond.
EAX Rwanda is the first part of a regional exchange intended to increase transparency in the region’s commodity markets. It is a subsidiary of Africa Exchange Holdings Ltd (AFEX), a holding company co-founded by Heirs Holdings (http://www.heirsholdings.com) and Berggruen Holdings (http://www.berggruenholdings.com), in partnership with The Tony Elumelu Foundation ((http://www.tonyelumelufoundation.org), and 50 Ventures, which seeks to develop a network of commodity exchanges across Africa to transform trade dynamics and ensure higher incomes for the rural poor.
Through private-sector-led investment and under the terms of an agreement signed with the Government of Rwanda, the East Africa Exchange aims to increase regional market efficiency and liquidity as well as giving the region’s population of 130 million, especially smallholder farmers, better access to markets. Powered by NASDAQ OMX, the exchange will initially focus on establishing an auction facility and spot trading for agriculture and non-agriculture commodities, but will also develop futures trading across East Africa. Its investors are Heirs Holdings, The Tony Elumelu Foundation, Berggruen Holdings (a part of the Nicolas Berggruen Charitable Trust and advised by the Berggruen Institute on Governance (http://berggruen.org), 50 Ventures and Rwandan-led Ngali Holdings (http://www.ngali.com).
EAX will complement the East Africa Community’s (EAC) goal of regional economic integration as set out by the Common Market Protocol, increasing liquidity and sustainability of regional financial and commodity markets, supporting the EAC’s competitiveness globally. EAX will also uplift national and regional economies by reducing market barriers to trading, providing a transparent regional economy through a secure mechanism that facilitates financing to farmers and traders.