THE NEW TIMES
by Ben GASORE & Peterson TUMWEBAZE, 1 JULY 2013
Rwanda has a conducive business environment that the entire region and Africa at large should strive to emulate, Tony Elumelu, the chairperson of Africa Exchange Holdings Ltd (Afex), has said.
Afex is the parent company of East African Exchange (EAX) based at the City Towers in Kigali. Elumelu, who was in the country to assess the operations of EAX, and briefed the media yesterday, said his organisation chose Rwanda after assessing the business environment factor.
“The reason we located the EAX in Rwanda is because of the positive business environment. There is a heightened level of dedication here which I call upon other African countries to emulate,” said Elumelu.
EAX is a regional commodity exchange established to link smallholder farmers with better access to agricultural and financial markets, enabling them to sell their products at fair and competitive prices and gain access to financing opportunities.
Elumelu tested the installed trading system, conducting live trading sessions with participants from Nairobi, Kampala and Lagos and also connecting to the trading platform remotely.
Paul Kukubo, the chief executive of EAX, said through its operations, the EAX brought value to the East African regional trade and export markets through world class technology and real time trading systems.
“The East Africa Exchange showcases our desire to embrace global opportunities and practices, while ensuring that much of the value adding aspects of Africa’s resource wealth stays on our continent,” said Kukubo.
Elumelu said the rules of engagement for Africa have changed and that those looking to invest on the continent should consider aligning their policies and investment with an economic philosophy he called ‘Africapitalism’.
“Africa’s economic history has been characterised by extractive industries and rent-seeking practices that have not created desired development. Africapitalism means there is a better and more ethical way to invest in Africa for a sustainable future. I would like to see both African and international investors review their strategies for Africa. We are open for business but not at any cost. Our rules of engagement have changed,” said Elumelu.
Elumelu is the author and advocate of the ‘Africapitalism’ philosophy, which is the private sector’s commitment to Africa’s development through long-term investments in strategic sectors of the economy that drive economic prosperity and social wealth on the continent, while promoting entrepreneurship in Africa by Africans.
He is regarded as one of the most transformative African entrepreneurs and philanthropists today. Following his retirement from United Bank for Africa in 2010, at the age of 47, Elumelu commenced full-time operations at Heirs Holdings and founded the Tony Elumelu Foundation, an Africa-based and African-funded philanthropic organisation.
Tony O. Elumelu (born March 22, 1963) is a Nigerian economist, banker, investor and philanthropist. Elumelu is Chairman of Heirs Holdings, a pan-African proprietary investment company with interests in strategic sectors of Africa’s economy.He is also the founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, an Africa-based and African-funded not-for-profit organisation (NPO) that is dedicated to the promotion and celebration of excellence in business leadership and entrepreneurship across Africa. Elumelu holds the Nigerian national honour, the Commander of the Order of Nigeria (CON). New African magazine recently listed him as one of the 100 most influential people in Africa. (Source: Tony Elumelu (Wikipedia))