East African governments are mulling the creation of a regional commodity exchange. If implemented, the plan will drastically reduce costs of transactions, enhance information flow and improve returns to market participants. The East African Community (EAC) and a US-based consultancy, Nicolas Berggruen Institute, have started discussions to establish the market.
According to EAC Secretary General, Richard Sezibera, plans to establish the exchange are the key, given that one of the principles of the EAC, as a private sector-driven and people-centred community, is making sure the people of the region gain access to tools of wealth creation. Such a commodity market could help address issues of price manipulation, often a problem in developing countries, increasing farmers’ incomes, and can also help in the development of other innovative financing tools for agriculture, in particular, and infrastructure, in general.