Uhuru launches the first East African exchange
The integration process of the East African states moved a notch higher with the official launch of the East Africa Exchange (EAX) in Kigali, Rwanda.
The new project will be a transparent electronic trading platform.
The launch of the EAX through which the establishment of the regional commodity exchange will be facilitated, is aimed at economic transformation and regional integration that will benefit the partner states.
The new initiative will provide a regional commodity exchange that connects buyers and sellers throughout East Africa and one that creates broader access to markets and the global economy. Through the new project, the farmers and traders will connect on price transparency real time.
The five partner states include Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.
Ethiopia and Tanzania are observers to the Northern Corridor Integration Projects, whose 6th Summit in Kigali provided the platform to launch the EAX.
President Uhuru Kenyatta rang the bell to officially launch the EAX witnessed by Presidents Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), and Salva Kiir of South Sudan.
President Kenyatta said the new project under the Northern Corridor Integration projects will be a truly East African Exchange.
He said the East African Commodities Exchange will greatly assist both businessmen, investors and small farmers who have for long been exploited by middle men.
Additionally, said a jubilant president Kenyatta, the new financial project will provide fair and decent prices for commodities from regional farmers, stabilize prices of grains and play an important part towards regional food security.
The main goals of the new initiative, which bring to over 15 the ongoing projects under the Northern Corridor Integration projects include enabling small-scale farmers access credit, capture value and catalyze further growth and providing an integrated East African Market with small –scale economy to enable the sector be truly globally competitive.
The other goal of the new EAX is to enable the deepening of East Africa’s capital markets so that its entrepreneurs and enteprises can unleash the prosperity of their own making for the benefit of their societies.
To be a fully regional exchange, the EAX will be opened to all regional investors. It also embraces the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) spirit to encourage both private and public investments from the region.
The EAX aims at establishing operations for a comprehensive end-to-end agricultural trading solution that adds value by putting in place inventory and warehouse management systems to combat post-harvest losses, improve food security and provide reliable inputs required for agro-processors.
The EAX will also provide access to collateral management to unleash agricultural financing and thereby transform agricultural stock to a financial asset, with products ranging from maize, beans, tea and coffee.