New Ghana Commodity Exchange
This month eleni, a private company that builds commodity exchanges for frontier markets in Africa, announced that financing had started for a Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX). The exchange will be created by eleni, the premier developor of commodity exchanges in Africa; it was eleni that developed the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX) in 2008, which has proved a resounding success.
CEO of eleni, Dr Eleni Gabre-Madhin, states, “Following on the success of the Ethiopian model, the African commodity exchange momentum is real. We can think of no better time and no better place than Ghana today to start a new thrust of developing an efficient and transparent price discovery platform. Ghana’s exchange has every potential to become a leading West African hub for globally traded commodities and we are excited to partner with the consortium to bring this idea to reality.”
First phase: investor consortium
The investment consortium behind the GCX scheme includes eleni, Ecobank Ghana Ltd, Data Bank Agrifund Manager Ltd, UT Bank Ghana Ltd, 8 Miles Fund, and IFC. The investment phase is due to be completed by the end of April 2014, and implementation of the exchange will then take place over a period of one year.
“The Ghana Commodity Exchange initiative has been in consideration for some time, and long overdue. It is an idea whose time has come,” says Robert Dowuona Owoo, GCX Project Coordinator at the Ghana Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Government of Ghana will be a minority stakeholder in the GCX.
President John Dramani Mahama announced in February that “as part of efforts to create an orderly, transparent and efficient marketing system for Ghana’s key agricultural commodities to promote agricultural investment and enhance productivity, the Government has committed itself to the establishment of a Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX) and associated Warehouse Receipt System (WRS). This move is to encourage market access and fair returns for smallholder farmers and to facilitate the formalisation of informal agricultural trading activities. It is expected that the establishment of the Ghana Commodity Exchange will position it as a West Africa Regional Hub for commodity trading activities.”
Impact of GCX on Ghana’s economy
Trading – both spot and futures – will initially focus on agricultural goods, including soybeans, maize, nuts, palm oil, and paddy rice. It is hoped that the GCX will develop into a regional trading platform.
MD of Ecobank Ghana, Samuel Ashitey Adjei, says, “This exchange will undoubtedly have a transformative impact on our economy and we are very pleased to be backing it.”