Government’s commitment to engage the private sector, which is regarded as the engine of growth in its development effort has been given a boost with the launch of the Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX) project.
The GCX Project is a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) initiative aimed at transforming Ghana’s agricultural sector through the establishment of the first modern commodity exchange in the country. Considered as the first of its kind in the West Africa sub region, the objective of the launch was to present the vision, timeline and design of the project, which is expected to become operational by late 2016.
The GCX is, therefore, projected to be a modern market system, where buyers and sellers assured of quality delivery and payment come together to trade. Speaking at the launch in Accra yesterday, President John Dramani Mahama, in whose presence the ceremony took place, indicated that the “GCX is a transformational initiative aiming at the creation of a state-of-the-art, transparent and professional market institution, impacting the lives of millions of Ghana’s small scale producers, processors and trade.”
The GCX Project, he added, would be financed with majority equity investment by the Government of Ghana under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Trade and Industry and a private sector financing consortium made up of domestic and global institutional investors, including Ecobank Ghana Limited; Ghana Commercial Bank Limited; a London-based private equity fund, 8 Miles Fund and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
President Mahama also promised to utilize political will to ensure that government’s drive of the agricultural sector as a catalyst for development is realized. It is his belief that by the time the project fully takes off, Ghana would have moved from a largely import-based economy to an export-driven one.
Minister for Trade and Industry, Dr. Ekow Spio Garbrah said the Project would be “implemented by the recognized industry leader in establishing and operating commodity exchanges in frontier markets, eleni LLC, headed by Dr. Eleni Gabre-Madhin, founder and former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange launched in 2008, which successfully traded 1.5 billion US dollars annually of agricultural commodities in the fourth year.”
Chairman of the GCX Project Steering Committee, Mr. Joe Tackie, came to the realization that “it is vital to engage the public and private sector stakeholders in such an event so that every Ghanaian understands and feels proud in what this Project is trying to achieve for the country.”
He further revealed that the National Launch, followed up by a sustained sensitization campaign around the country, involving media, printed materials, television, film and other means would ensure reach to all segments of the Ghanaian society.
The GCX will be a national multi-commodity exchange that provides market integrity, by guaranteeing the product grade and quantity and operating a system of clearing and settling of contracts on a daily basis, Project Coordinator, Mr. Robert Dowouna, stated.
He was hopeful the Ghana Commodity Exchange Project would enhance market efficiency by operating a trading system where buyers and sellers could coordinate in a seamless way on the “basis of standardized contracts, thereby enabling market transparency by disseminating market information in real time to all market players.”
The launch is targeted at a wide range of stakeholders, including producers, aggregators, processors, exporters, marketers, industrial buyers, banking and insurance, transport, policymakers, legislators, traditional leaders, diplomatic community and development partners.
Source: The Chronicle
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