Nairobi — Rwanda has settled on a Kenyan to head the East Africa Exchange, a body charged with overseeing the commodities market across the region.
Paul Kukubo who has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya ICT Board over the last five years will was named the CEO of the regional body in one of the advancing efforts towards closer integration in the region.
Kukubo has during his tenure as the CEO of the Kenya ICT board midwifed the country from a largely analogue situation to one of the ICT powerhouse in the East and Central Africa region.
"In his service as at the helm of the board, Kukubo has facilitated the development of information and communication technology products and services as well as extended counsel to the government on matters pertaining to the development, coordination and promotion of information and communications technology industries in the country," said Kenya Information and Minister Samuel Poghisio while commenting on the transition.
The growth in Kenya's ICT sector has seen the country honored internationally. Just a month ago, the foundation stone for the first ever ICT City in Africa, the Konza Technopolis was laid by President Mwai Kibaki. The facility looks at establishing the African equivalent of the American Silicon Valley.
Kukubo will be taking up the new job in July this year.The East African Exchange is part of the larger Africa Exchange Holdings (AFEX) which aims at promoting commodity exchanges across Africa. Another key appointment for the East African subsidiary was that of John Bosco Sebabi currently the Director General at the National Bank of Rwanda as the Chief Operating Officer.
Rwanda's President Paul Kagame launched the regional exchange during the World Economic Forum in Davos.
EAX was co-founded by Heirs Holdings, the pan-African investment company, and Berggruen Holdings. "AFEX has been set up to transform commodities trading in Africa, starting with agriculture in Rwanda. Both Kukubo and Sebabi bring the intellectual capital and operational experience we need to deliver the full economic and social impact of this Exchange," said Tony O. Elumelu, Chairman of Heirs Holdings said during the appointment.
Through private-sector-led investment and under the terms of an agreement signed with the Government of Rwanda, the East Africa Exchange aims to increase regional market efficiency and liquidity as well as giving the region's population of 130 million, especially smallholder farmers, better access to markets.