Over the last 5 years, AFEX set out to build a platform that addresses major development challenges in Africa’s food systems by investing in innovations with the potential for sustainable social impact in rural households and the larger society. At AFEX’s core was the mission to create an efficient, inclusive, and vibrant market that promotes a fair exchange for everyone involved in the value chain. On the 4th of May 2021, the leading commodities market operator released its first edition of the AFEX Impact Report, celebrating the positive socio-economic outcomes that have improved the livelihoods of over 160,000 farmers while cumulatively facilitating over 200,000MT of trades. This impact continues to unlock wealth and prosperity in the commodities market.
By focusing on turning farming operations into profitable livelihoods, AFEX has built Nigeria’s largest supply chain infrastructure, giving producers access to credit, inputs, and markets, which are required to generate sustainable income across the value chain. Achieving a stronger economy should include a push for food security, food self-sufficiency, and reduced poverty while promoting decent work and inclusion, all of which remain a key focus for AFEX’s wide-reaching impact in rural communities.
As a commodities exchange AFEX also enables the capital market to be included in this impact framework, unlocking finance and credit from the financial markets to drive activities and outcomes in the physical market.
When we started AFEX, we recognized the need to create a systemic and sustainable change in the commodities market by creating a fair and efficient market for trading commodities. We looked at the significant issues that had an impact on our food systems, particularly related to the challenges of the smallholder farmers. We reviewed the processes across the industry and prioritized inclusion to drive more productivity and prosperity for everyone, and now to gauge our experiences and contributions, we devised an impact assessment methodology that analyses the complexity of the contexts in which we work” said Ayodeji Balogun, CEO, AFEX.
He also highlighted the inspiration behind the work being done at AFEX and the connection of AFEX’s impact to five Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),
“We are enabled by the resilience of market players to create well-functioning markets, and that has powered our use of innovative technologies and products such as the warehouse receipt system, asset-backed commercial papers, and our input financing programmes. By aligning our mission and activities with SDGs 1,2,5,8, and 12, we will continue to find innovative ways to deliver value across the ecosystem and look forward to establishing new relationships.”
The Chairman of AFEX, Mobolaji Adeoye also spoke on the bigger picture of the Impact Report, stating that, “One insight that the team and I have derived in perusing the report and going through the process required to create the impact framework is that AFEX’s model can deliver on the promise and potential to lift millions out of poverty. AFEX is a marketplace that incentivizes players and allows value to be shared across commodity value chains. As the team launches the Impact Report today, we commit to continue tracking the impact of this marketplace as it not only lifts people out of poverty but works across the other SDGs – zero hunger, gender equality, decent work, and economic growth, and responsible production and consumption – all captured within the report.”
AFEX’s first five years have delivered incredible impact outcomes in Nigeria’s commodities market and the company revealed some details about its next five years journey. The goal continues to centre around themes of efficient and inclusive markets, economic growth and inclusion in a way that reaches more producers, unlocks more finance for commodity value chains and facilitates greater volume of trades to outfit processor requirements. With today’s launch, AFEX is celebrating the progress across these pillars and reiterating its commitment to help Africa feed itself.
The AFEX Impact report can be downloaded here.
At AFEX we harness Africa’s commodities and talent to build shared wealth and prosperity. Our infrastructure and platform investments work to unlock capital to power a trust economy in Africa’s commodities markets. Since its inception in 2014, we have developed and deployed a viable commodities exchange model for the West African market, and are on track to impact one million producers; providing services in productivity and value capture and access to finance and markets. By deploying an efficient market system, we will facilitate trade with Africa worth over USD500 million in the next five years.
AFEX’s vision is to be the reference point for commodities in Africa. To achieve this goal, AFEX looks to introduce products that de-risk the sector, drive financial inclusion for rural communities, develop technology for data collection and market access, and enable capital deployment.
This article was originally published by AFEX.