With the recent launch of the GCX, Ghana joins the league of 12 other African Countries running a commodity exchange. Notable among these is the Ethiopian Commodities Exchange (ECX) which begun in 2008 and has quickly grown to be a model for other African countries.
A Commodity Exchange is simply a regulated market or platform that brings together buyers and sellers of commodities to trade under pre-set rules and regulations. Registered as a private company limited by shares, the GCX currently has the Government of Ghana as its sole shareholder. The purpose of the exchange will be ‘’to connect markets, connect people, provide opportunities by using the most modern, interactive and appropriate technology that meets the needs of our markets and stakeholders’’. These will be achieved using a secured automated electronic trading platform supported by a network of certified warehouses across the country.
Staple foods such as maize, soya bean, rice, dry beans, millet, sorghum and groundnut will be traded in the first 12 months with cashew, cocoa, among others being robbed in after 12 months culminating in the trading of metals, minerals, oil and gas after three years. These will initially be traded via spot contracts as the exchange plans to roll out futures trading by the end of 2020.
Benefits accruing to market participants include among others; a fair and transparent price discovery mechanism, job creation, removal of geographical boundaries to trading in commodities produced in Ghana.