Rwanda : East African Exchange of Commodities launched, Kagame among main Presenters

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East African Exchange of Commodities launched, Kagame among main Presenters

President of Rwanda Paul Kagame, (second right)

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame is presenting a project on the East African Exchange, an introduction that  intends to convince  International community to focus on East Africa Investment; the presentation is going on at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland on23 January 2013.

Other presenters are Nicolas Berggruen of Berggruen Holdings, Wiebe Boer of Heirs Holdings and Jendayi Frazer of 50 Ventures

The East Africa Exchange (EAX) Rwanda which is the first part of a regional exchange intended to increase transparency in the region’s commodity markets.

According to the terms of an agreement signed through private-sector-led investment with the Government of Rwanda, the East Africa Exchange aims to increase regional market efficiency and liquidity.

EAX will also be giving the region’s population of 130 million, especially smallholder farmers, better access to markets.

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.

The main investors in the project are Berggruen Holdings (a part of the Nicolas Berggruen Charitable Trust, and advised by the (Berggruen Institute on Governance), Heirs Holdings, 50 Ventures and Rwandan led Ngali Holdings

One of the EAX goals will be to 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.

It will also 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.

NASDAQ OMX’s X-stream Trading and clearing platforms is expected to power and directly support the East African Exchange for smooth operations and successful investment

According to Lars Ottersgård, Senior Vice President and Head of Market Technology; it is a significant honor to be chosen to help launch a new exchange in Africa.

“As the East Africa Exchange grows and expands its vision for greater market efficiency, liquidity and transparency, we are dedicated to supporting its efforts through our proven trading and clearing technology” Said Ottersgård.

On the other hand, Nicolas Berggruen , the founder and president of Berggruen Holdings remarked that a transparent and modern exchange will make such investment much more likely. “Agriculture is vital to Africa’s prosperity, and so aiding the flow of information and finance within the agricultural sector will be especially helpful.” He noted.

The chairman of Heirs Holdings, Tony O. Elumelu, C.O.N., said, “The East Africa Exchange showcases our desire to embrace global opportunities and practices, while ensuring that as much as possible of the value adding aspects of Africa’s resource wealth stay on our continent.”

Expressing the project in a wide perspective, Jendayi Frazer, who headed the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs and was Senior Director of African Affairs at the U.S. National Security Council, president of 50 Ventures said:  “The East Africa Exchange brings together African expertise, global financing, and world-class technology to advance the integration and competitiveness of the East Africa Community’s market.”

While speaking on behalf of the Government of Rwanda, the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning John Rwangombwa said: “The East Africa Exchange fits well within our vision to transform the lives of all Rwandans.

The Economic minister commented that the partnership is a welcomed opportunity to strengthen the linkages between producers and the market, increase access to information which is vital for price discovery.

“We look forward to working with the investors of the East Africa Exchange to increase the income of producers and improve their lives.” Rwangombwa added.

Rwanda’s Leader Paul Kagame has with his Government been applauded for better investment police both on Rwandans and Foreign investors, a move that continues to accredit the country whenever there is Economic growth reference at the International level.




About the author

Mr. Sina is the Managing Partner & Chief Editor of RwandaEye. After completing his post-graduation from the Faculty of Economics and Management, National University of Rwanda,he worked in various consulting capacities for equity and business firms in Kigali. A shrewd strategist, he is an Economic Pundit, entrepreneur and Investment Banker.

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