Building capacity for the Ghana Commodities Exchange
- Formally lauched in November 2018, the Ghana Commodities Exchange (GCX) is set to transform agricultural markets in Ghana.
- The GCX links farmers with traders more effectively, and provides facilities like grain storage and quality control.
- To ensure the smooth running of the exchange upon its opening, this project sought to build technical capacity amongst its key stakeholders, from warehouse management to smallholder farmers.
The Ghana Commodities Exchange (GCX) is the first agricultural commodities exchange in West Africa. Ever since the establishment of the Ethiopian Commodities Exchange, there has been high interest from African policymakers in agricultural exchanges. Ghana represents the first operational effort in West Africa, and therefore lessons on best practice from the exchange and the effects it has on agricultural markets are invaluable.
The IGC is already funding work that seeks to evaluate the impact of the GCX on the structure of agricultural markets in Ghana, and whether participation in the exchange will be beneficial to farmers. This project seeks to complement this evaluation by simultaneously building capacity and establishing best practices in the operation of the exchange.
The researcher, Yaw Nyarko, held regular meetings and workshops with stakeholders across the value chain to help bolster capacity in anticipation of the launch of GCX in late 2018. With the GCX operational team, Mr. Nyarko helped develop knowledge in areas including warehouse management, technological solutions (i.e. trading software and applications), and financial management systems unique to a commodities exchange.
Mr. Nyarko met farmer groups multiple times to discuss the Marketplace mobile app that has been developed to facilitate their participation in the GCX. Marketplace gives farmers access to real time price information for their products. In early 2018, a forum of 45 farmers and 28 traders trained on the Marketplace app and tested newer versions of it.
The GCX formally launched on 6th November 2018. Yaw Nyarko is now the Chairman of the Technical Oversight Committee of the GCX, which advises on the strategy of the exchange and develops technical aspects of the exchange. This places him well to use findings from IGC’s other projects to further improve the GCX, and to share knowledge gained from the operation of the GCX to inform other future commodities exchanges that may open in Africa.