Commodity exchanges in African economies IFPRI REPORT

This paper reviews the purpose and potential of commodity exchanges in Africa. Drawing from the existing literature and using indicative empirics, it examines the conditions that enable successful exchanges, highlights the special challenges to setting up exchanges in Africa, and reviews alternatives to domestic exchanges. The paper highlights three points: (a) efforts to launch exchanges in Africa should realistically assess whether basic conditions for success can be met, (b) if the pre-conditions cannot be met, the use of existing exchanges abroad or the development of regional exchanges may be more feasible than the establishment of national commodity exchanges, and (c) the goals of risk management and reduced transaction costs might be achieved more effectively by improving market fundamentals through investments in transportation, information services, or other financial institutions.

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