Rwanda. Mon 7 Jul 2014, 12:00 am
Kigali, Rwanda, 3 July– His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya officially launched the East Africa Exchange (EAX)
His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya formally launches the East Africa Exchange
Regional commodity exchange created to increase access in the region’s commodity markets
Kigali, Rwanda, 3 July– His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya officially launched the East Africa Exchange (EAX) today at the 6th Northern Corridor Integration Projects Summit in Kigali, Rwanda. Also in attendance were: the host, His Excellency Presidency Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda, President Salva Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan, and Honorable Tedros Adhanon, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Ehiopia, as well as the three principal investors in EAX and Board Chairman, Dr. Jendayi Frazer.
Established by Tony O. Elumelu, CON, of Heirs Holdings, Nicolas Berggruen of Berggruen Holdings, Dr. Jendayi Frazer of 50 Ventures and Rwandan investment company Ngali Holdings— the EAX is a commodity exchange that aims to increase regional market efficiency and give the growing population, particularly smallholder farmers, better access to commercial markets.
The EAX will link small-scale farmers in the East African community (EAC) to agricultural and financial markets so they can get competitive pricing for crops and access to finance. EAX will use NASDAQ’s OMX X-Stream trading platform for electronic trading and warehouse receipts so farmers can deposit their produce into EAX certified warehouses and access its services.
The importance of commodity exchanges was first mentioned in the Abuja Treaty of 1991 and endorsed by Heads of State and government in 2005. In 2013, EAX became the first regional exchange to link smallholder farmers to agricultural and financial markets with competitive pricing.
At the formal launch, Mr. Elumelu said, “The EAX showcases our desire to identify far reaching investment opportunities, while ensuring that most of the value-adding aspects of Africa’s resource wealth stay on our continent. Africa must move toward greater self-sufficiency with private investment and strategic partnerships, just as we have done at EAX through our partnership with NASDAQ.”
The EAX provides opportunities for faster and more inclusive African economic growth through intra-African trade previously unseen on this scale in the region. More regional trade will increase employment, accommodate a higher number of market participants and drive greater scale in terms of agricultural financing.
Nicolas Berggruen said, “EAX is complementing the EAC’s goal of regional economic integration, and putting in place a world-class exchange to create a globally competitive market for Africa’s commodities.”
Speaking at the launch, Dr. Jendayi Frazer said, “The East African region is the fastest growing bloc in East Africa. We are proud to be amongst a coalition of partners supporting the initiative and promoting trade and economic growth in our region.”
Irene Ndikumwenayo, Ngai Holdings, Chief Investment Officer, an EAX board member and EAX shareholder, echoed the importance of the regional nature of the exchange. “The East African region is the fastest growing bloc in Africa. It only makes sense for local companies to support the initiative and to promote trade and economic growth in our region,” he said.
About the East Africa Exchange
The East Africa Exchange is a regional commodity exchange established to link smallholder farmers to agricultural and financial markets, to secure competitive prices for their products, and to facilitate access to financial opportunities. EAX’s goal is to facilitate trade across all five East African Community member states. EAX is wholly owned by Africa Exchange Holdings, Ltd. (AFEX). EAX in Rwanda is additionally owned by local investment company Ngali Holdings.
About Africa Exchange Holdings
Africa Exchange Holdings, Ltd. (AFEX) was founded in 2012 by three investors: Heirs Holdings; Berggruen Holdings and 50 Ventures. Berggruen Holdings takes a long-term, patient capital value-oriented approach and invests across a wide range of industries and asset classes; Heirs Holdings invests in a variety of industries across Africa and looks to create value and catalyze the economic growth of the continent; and 50 Ventures seeks to elevate Africa's global standing by investing in its governance, education, enterprise, and stability sectors. AFEX established two subsidiaries East Africa Exchange (EAX) and AFEX Nigeria to serve as catalysts in the development of Africa’s agricultural potential and financial markets.
For more information contact:
East Africa Exchange (EAX)
c/o L.R. No. 209/311/5
4th Ngong Avenue
P: +254 721 967 057/ +250 733 967057
Heirs Holdings Ltd.
1 Macgregor Road – Lagos, Nigeria
Published By: Dr. Kadri Alfah