Africa Exchange Holdings Subsidiary Announces CEO and COO Appointments in Rwanda

Feb 20, 2013, 08:01 ET from EAX Rwanda

KIGALI, Rwanda, February 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

In line with its strategy to build commodity exchanges across Africa, Africa Exchange Holdings (AFEX) today announced two key appointments for its subsidiary East Africa Exchange (EAX) in Rwanda. Paul Kukubo, Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Information, Communication and Technology Board and John Bosco Sebabi, Director General at the National Bank of Rwanda will take up the positions of Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer, respectively.

The high-level appointments to the EAX, which was co-founded by Heirs Holdings, Berggruen Holdings, 50 Ventures and Ngali Holdings, comes shortly after the exchange was launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos by Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Nicolas Berggruen and Jendayi Frazer.

Speaking about the appointments, Tony O. Elumelu, CON, Chairman of Heirs Holdings said: "AFEX has been set up to transform commodities trading in Africa, starting with agriculture in Rwanda. It will provide small scale farmers with better access to global markets, and create social value that will empower them for the long term. Kukubo and Sebabi bring to the EAX the intellectual capital and operational experience to help realise this goal in East Africa."

Jendayi Frazer, Founder of 50 Ventures, and Chairman of the Board for the East Africa Exchange said: "Paul Kukubo has demonstrated transformative leadership in the information technology space in Kenya in both the private and public sectors and the EAX will benefit from his strong entrepreneurial experience in start-ups. John Bosco Sebabi was chosen because of his experience in financial payment systems, notably in developing the Central Depository and Payments systems in Rwanda, which reaches across Africa."

Nicolas Berggruen, Chairman of Berggruen Holdings said: "Paul Kukubo and John Bosco Sebabi join an experienced team of Africa advisors, including Roderick Gravelet-Blondin, former General Manager of the Commodities Division of the South African Futures Exchange, and Stella Kilonzo, former Chief Executive of the Capital Markets Authority in Kenya. We are fortunate to have them on our team."

Andrew Nyamvumba, Chief Executive Officer of Ngali Holdings based in Rwanda and East Africa, remarked: "It is with great pride we welcome Paul Kukubo and our own John Bosco Sebabi to lead the team as we continue to build a truly transformative platform to improve the flow of commodities in the region."

Paul Kukubo was the founding CEO for the Kenya ICT Board where he oversaw Kenya's development into a regional ICT powerhouse during his two terms in the position.  Prior to that, he was a widely respected ICT innovator and entrepreneur, most prominently for his founding role in 3Mice Interactive Media Ltd.  He holds a Global Executive MBA, through a joint program between Columbia University and the United States International University, and a Bachelors of Art in Economics and Sociology from the University of Nairobi.  Mr. Kukubo will assume his position as the CEO for the East Africa Exchange in Rwanda at the end of his contract with the Kenya ICT Board.

John Bosco Sebabi is currently the Director General of the Operations Directorate at the National Bank of Rwanda. One of his notable achievements was spearheading modernization of the Bank's payment systems. John Bosco holds a Master of Science degree in International Economics, Banking and Finance from Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and an Associate degree in Economics, both completed with distinction from the National University of Rwanda.

About EAX Rwanda

EAX Rwanda is the first part of a regional exchange intended to increase transparency in the region's commodity markets.  It is a subsidiary of Africa Exchange Holdings Ltd (AFEX), a holding company co-founded by Berggruen Holdings, Heirs HoldingsThe Tony Elumelu Foundation, and 50 Ventures, which seeks to develop a network of commodity exchanges across Africa to transform trade dynamics and ensure higher incomes for the rural poor.

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. Powered by NASDAQ OMX, the exchange will initially focus on establishing an auction facility and spot trading for agriculture and non-agriculture commodities, but will also develop futures trading across East Africa. Its investors are Berggruen Holdings (a part of the Nicolas Berggruen Charitable Trust and advised by the Berggruen Institute on Governance), Heirs Holdings, The Tony Elumelu Foundation, 50 Ventures and Rwandan-led Ngali Holdings.

EAX will complement the East Africa Community's (EAC) goal of regional economic integration as set out by the Common Market Protocol, increasing liquidity and sustainability of regional financial and commodity markets, supporting the EAC's competitiveness globally.  EAX will also uplift national and regional economies by reducing market barriers to trading, providing a transparent regional economy through a secure mechanism that facilitates financing to farmers and traders.

For More Information:

Timothy R. Shortley
Chief Operating Officer, Africa Exchange Holdings, and
Senior Director for Africa, Nicolas Berggruen Institute
Cell: +1-202-604-4964, United States, Cell: +250-(0)786-591-545, Rwanda

Moky Makura
Director, Marketing and Corporate Communications
Heirs Holdings Ltd
Work: +234-(0)1-277-4641

Rachel Breaux
Chief Communications Officer
Ngali Holdings, Ltd.
+250-(0)784-951-369, Rwanda