Developed by the African Export-Import Bank that serves as a broker for most of the payment systems and logistics, trading on the new business-to-business e-commerce platform Africa Trade Exchange started on May 11.
With hopes that it will mitigate rising food prices due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis, trading on the new business-to-business e-commerce platform Africa Trade Exchange (ATEX) started on May 11.
The crisis has created shortages in maize, wheat, other grains and fertilizers in several African countries, which are disproportionately net food importers and receive more than 80% of their wheat and maize from Russia and Ukraine.
“The conflict impacts on food security in Africa through availability and pricing in some food crops, particularly sunflower and wheat, as well as growth and socioeconomic recovery, triggered by soaring uncertainties in supply chain systems and global financial markets,” agrees Nardos Bekele, CEO of African Union Development Agency-NEPAD.
“One of the issues we’ve realized during this Covid-19 epoch is the importance of possessing credible supply chains, and one can’t have credible supply chains unless businesses are working together,” adds Francis Mangeni, head of Trade Promotions and Programs at the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Facilitating trading between buyers and suppliers within the $2.5 trillion economic bloc, ATEX improves cross-border trade and provides businesses with quality products from verified African suppliers while reducing average trading costs based on AfCFTA rules and improving efficiency.
“The Russia-Ukraine crisis has increased the strain on critical supply chains in commodity markets, with current and expected price increases in agricultural products and inputs such as cereals and fertilizers,” the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) said during ATEX’s launch
Developed by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) that serves as a broker for most of the payment systems and logistics, including the African Development Bank and collaborating with the AfCFTA Secretariat and the UNECA, ATEX’s other objective is to let buyers and sellers access the details of AfCFTA rules, procedures and resources, allowing them to locate potential supply chain partners.
Dr. Stephen Karingi, director of the Regional Integration and Trade Division of the Economic Commission for Africa, says, “ATEX promises a transformation in the Continent’s approach to trade and imports, particularly by expediting access for small and medium-size enterprises to the wider African market.”