AFEX Concludes Fundraising Programme

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Hamid Ayodeji
AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited (AFEX), a commodity exchange in Nigeria, has announced that it has secured an investment for an undisclosed amount from Consonance Investment Managers, a Sub-Saharan Africa focused early-stage and growth investment firm.

The funds would be used to increase liquidity of the commodity markets, and strengthen operations and technology systems.

A statement from the exchange stated that AFEX would ease the access of retail and institutional investors to the commodity markets in Nigeria by deploying its established infrastructure to securitise agricultural products, ensuring efficient and transparent clearing and settlement.

It noted that with more participation in the sector, more innovative products would be listed over time, translating to growth for Nigeria’s capital market and increased funds being directed towards the agricultural sector in the country.

According to the statement, this key part of AFEX’s operations requires the deployment of funds towards market sensitisation, training and product development.

It pointed out that to support growth and stability of its systems, AFEX would also continue to build technology solutions that support traceability, covering activities all the way from the financial inclusion of producers, through the outreach operations, and AFEX’s warehouse receipt system, to a trading platform that fosters shared prosperity between producers, processors and investors.

“We are delighted to welcome Consonance Investment Managers as partners on this journey. The future requires AFEX to provide our infrastructure as a service to the market and unlock capital for the agriculture sector in Nigeria.

“We will grow our operations ten-fold over the next five years; we also aspire to increase funding to agriculture in Nigeria from about N500 billion ($1.5 billion) to more than N2 trillion ($7.5 billion) by 2025,” AFEX CEO, Ayodeji Balogun said.

On his part, Managing Partner at Consonance Investment Managers, Mobolaji Adeoye, said,
“We are proud to support Ayodeji and the AFEX team in their mission to transform Nigeria’s agricultural sector. AFEX increases trust and transparency in local agricultural supply chains by connecting farmers to market.

“AFEX has established the infrastructure which will undergird Nigeria’s food security agenda and the Central Bank of Nigeria’s economic diversification program. It will also be vital in deepening capital markets in line with the mission of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria.”

Since its founding in 2014, AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited has developed and deployed a viable commodities exchange model for the West African market.
AFEX has built a strong supply chain infrastructure to support the securitization of agricultural products.

AFEX operates 45 warehouses in Nigeria’s key grain-producing areas and accounts for 100,000 MT of total national storage capacity. Since 2014, the exchange has reached 106,000 farmers and traded 126,400 MT of commodities with a total turnover of NGN14.1bn.

AFEX’s mission is to support Africa’s food security while promoting fair exchange of value among players in agricultural value chains.
On the other hand, Consonance Investment Managers invests in early-stage and growing businesses across sub-Saharan Africa.