UGANDA-AFEX, Africa’s leading commodities exchange and commodities market player, has announced its expansion into Uganda, seven months after it first entered East Africa.

The new development is the latest in the company’s series of planned expansions to 10 African countries over the next five years

Often referred to as Africa’s ‘bread basket,’ Uganda has one of the most dynamic commodities markets in Africa with a significant potential for growth, and a positive government interest in commercializing agriculture through collaboration with private sector players.

AFEX said it will implement its scalable model that combines advanced technology and infrastructure with a unique understanding of Africa’s food systems and local markets to replicate its successes in Nigeria and Kenya to Uganda.

Citing a report by the International Trade Administration, AFEX pointed out that Uganda is lacking the necessary infrastructure in storage, credit, and access to markets to sustain food production.

Therefore, to tackle these issues, AFEX said that it has already established warehouses in the Bulambuli and Kapchorwa districts in Eastern Uganda, and the Lira district of Northern Uganda.

Farmers in Uganda will benefit from AFEX’s revolutionary tech-enabled services for agricultural producers with a target to reach 10,000 farmers and aggregate 15,000 metric tons of commodities, AFEX said.

The company also plans to extend its aggregation, storage, and financial inclusion services to Ugandan farmers and processors.

In addition, AFEX plans to work closely with local and international partners primarily focusing on maize, sorghum, soybeans, barley, and coffee, with maize being the initial priority. 

The operations will start with a network of over 1500 farmers and will be focusing on reducing post-harvest losses by providing storage facilities and providing access to loans for farmers to purchase quality farming inputs including agrochemicals, fertilizer, and seedlings

It will also provide advisory and extension services to tackle poor agricultural practices and post-harvest handling practices, market access, and food and feed traceability services.

Abdul-Hafeez Odusanya will be charged with the affairs of making the Uganda venture a success in his role as the managing director of AFEX Uganda.

Restructuring and appointments

Meanwhile, to provide efficiency and focus on the regions, AFEX has announced new appointments and internal promotions among its leadership.

The appointments which took effect in October 2022 saw Sanne Steemers emerge as President, Rest of Africa, overseeing the expansion across the continent.

With 20 years of experience working at the intersection of global supply chains, finance, and agricultural commodities, Sanne expressed excitement about joining AFEX as the company expands into yet another market and driving the expansion across the rest of Africa

“I’m looking forward to adapting these winning strategies, services, and approaches to service farmers, processors, and partners in Uganda and beyond.” 

Other appointments saw Akinyinka David Akintunde (previously Chief Operating Officer) become President, AFEX Nigeria, responsible for all operations in the West African country; and CEO Ayodeji Balogun has been appointed Group CEO, heading all entities globally. 

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