AFEX, Africa’s leading private commodities market player, on Friday, marked World Food Day 2022, with the launch of a new 100,000MT/ year Grain Quality Enhancement Centre and 30,000 MT storage capacity warehouse at Zaria-Kano Highway, Kaduna, Nigeria.
The plant represents AFEX’s renewed commitment to infrastructure investments that cut post-harvest losses, strengthen quality and standardisation criteria in grain value chains, and improve the livelihoods of primary producers who are able to earn higher income on better quality grains.
The plant, which has an annual capacity of 100,000MT, meets the challenges of grain quality enhancement through cleaning, grinding, heating, drying, packaging, and storage services for maize, paddy rice, and soybean.
“Over the years, we have seen a growing demand for grain commodities in the animal feed, food, and drink industries. However, 3.5 trillion naira (circa US$8 billion) is lost annually after harvest because the national storage capacity can only accommodate 5 to 7 percent of agricultural produce.
At AFEX, we believe that the grain quality enhancement centre will help meet that demand, support the closure of quality and quantity gaps, maximise income returns for smallholder farmers, and increase access to markets that will benefit key players in the value chain and society at large.
The activities in the processing plant will include quality and quantity checks, packaging, storage, and other processes in the value chain,” said Ayodeji Balogun, AFEX CEO.
In 2021, AFEX expanded into East Africa to replicate its early successes in Nigeria and to enable seamless access to pan-African commodities trading across Africa while bolstering its food security.
It followed with a $1 million loan program in July this year, to provide Kenyan farmers with access to crop seed and fertiliser, allowing them to mitigate rising commodity prices.
Just like every other effort, this historic milestone on World Food Day in Nigeria aligns with the United Nations SDG goals 1, 2 5, 8 and 12 as AFEX continues to work towards resilience and sustainability of the agricultural supply chain to alleviate poverty by ensuring that farmers and growers get a better deal for their produce, everyone has access to affordable and nutritious food, and that no one is left behind.
The 100,000 MT/ year Grain Quality Enhancement Centre is a product of AFEX’ partnership with the Kaduna State Government of Nigeria and the USAID-Funded West Africa Trade & Investment Hub.
Speaking on the commissioning of the AFEX Grain Quality Enhancement Centre, His Excellency, the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasiru el-Rufai said “I am happy to see this new development in the agricultural value chain.
Oftentimes, when farmers harvest their produce, they sell quickly at low prices to prevent post-harvest loss and in return, they never get the best value.
With this centre, AFEX has closed the gap in preparation, cleaning, and logistics, helping farmers to sell at the right price.
“I am grateful to all the partners behind AFEX, USAID-Funded West Africa Trade & Investment Hub, AGRA, for collaborating on this project and enhancing access to a structured and ready market for farmers and job creation for Nigerian youths,” he concluded.
All around the world, excessive post- harvest losses impact negatively on food security. To alleviate the problem In Nigeria, this new facility will strengthen food supply chains, boost grain prices for producers and serve as a reliable source for processed grain meal and hulls in the growing markets whilst bolstering food production in the country.
Essentially, by depositing commodities in the warehouse, farmers will be able to pay for the processing services and have access to buyers on the AFEX platform at a higher price.
Since 2014, AFEX has built a robust network of warehouses to support the growth of agricultural commodities and provide offtake agreements to farmers at market prices with a same-day payment model. Currently, in Nigeria alone, AFEX has a footprint of over 100 warehouses across 23 grain-producing states which accounts for over 300,000 MT of the total national storage capacity. They have reached over 430,000 farmers and traded over 1 million MT of commodities to transform rural households and boost economic prosperity.
With more efficient pricing mechanisms and transparent, fair distribution fees, agricultural producers working with AFEX benefit from significant – and often life-changing – savings on taxes, charges, transportation costs, and better storage/disruption.
Burna Boy Leads as Top Streamed African Artist in Sub Saharan Africa
Spotify has released Wrapped 2023, the annual data-led review of how people listened to music and podcasts, on the platform.
Drake is the most streamed artist in Sub-Saharan Africa, followed by Burna Boy, making him the most streamed African artist in SSA, for the second year in a row. Asake, Davido and Omah Lay all make an appearance in the top ten, showing Nigeria’s dominance in the music scene across the continent. Ayra Starr narrowly misses the top ten most streamed artists list, landing at number 11 and being the top streamed female artist in SSA.
When it comes to tracks that the whole region can agree on, Ruger’s Asiwaju takes the day, followed by Ayra Starr’s Rush. A host of other Nigerian tracks also make the list include Asake’s Lonely At The Top which is the most streamed track in Nigeria this year. Tyler ICU is the sole South African with Mnike, featuring DJ Maphorisa, Nandipha808, Ceeka RSA & Tyron Dee, and Libianca’s People is still making waves, almost a year after its release, landing it in the eighth spot.
Davido’s album Timeless was released earlier this year, after much anticipation from the fans, so it follows that it is the most streamed album in SSA, and two tracks from the album, Feel and Unavailable, featuring Musa Keys are on the top ten most streamed tracks in SSA. To say that Asake is living the dream would be an understatement, after all, the artist was relatively unknown a few short years ago, and now two of his albums, Work of Art and Mr. Money With The Vibe are in the top streamed list in the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa.
The top exported artist in SSA is Rema, thanks to the popularity of Calm Down, featuring Selena Gomez, which is also the most exported track from SSA. Furthermore, for the first time ever, an African artist-led track not only gained 1 billion streams on Spotify, it is also the eighth most streamed track globally. No small feat considering just a few years ago, African tracks were mostly confined to the continent. All the African artists whose music was felt not just on the continent, but also on the global stages, are featured on Spotify’s Gone Abroad Presents…Global African Hits of 2023.
Even though Ayra Starr leads in the top streamed female artists list, the only other African female artist in the top ten is Tems, with the rest of the list being occupied by American artists.
To further showcase local listening trends from around the world, Spotify this year has Wrapped Mapped, showing which songs have soundtracked throughout the year since January 1, all across the globe.
Eligible users can access their personalized 2023 Wrapped experience exclusively in the Spotify mobile app (iOS and Android) and also this year, via web view on mobile or Desktop by heading to Spotify.com/Wrapped.
Additionally, Spotify has also launched its Wrapped creator experience for podcasters and artists. With access to their own individualized Wrapped microsite experience, creators can dive into all the ways in which their fans listened this year. Check out Spotify for Artists and Spotify for Podcasters to learn more.
TOP STREAMED ARTISTS IN SSA
TOP STREAMED TRACKS IN SSA
TOP STREAMED ALBUMS IN SSA
TOP EXPORTED ARTISTS
TOP EXPORTED TRACKS
TOP STREAMED FEMALE ARTISTS IN SSA
AFEX Launches FETC Product on New Digital Trading Platform
Africa’s commodities player, AFEX, has launched Africa Exchange, a digital platform for trading commodities. The platform follows AFEX’s first foray into digital commodities trading with the launch of ComX in 2020.
This new trading platform further transforms the commodities space in Africa by enabling commodities market players to meet and interact both in the physical and financial markets. Data and information crucial to decision-making are readily available on the platform, offering a comprehensive and informed trading experience.
Africa Exchange provides a structured marketplace duly regulated by Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), ensuring that users can participate in various trade or investment opportunities.
Africa Exchange will replace ComX, which has served over 80,000 investors in Nigeria and facilitated trades worth over USD 200 million since it was launched in 2020. The transition further bolsters AFEX’s mission of facilitating wealth creation for a new generation of Africans by providing them with alternative investment options to enrich their existing portfolios.
Additionally, AFEX aims to enhance intra-African trade by strengthening commodities trading within Africa and supporting the African Continental Free Trade Agreement’s (AFCFTA) mission to improve regional trade integration to boost economic development and food security across the continent.
Presently, only 14.4% of Africa’s exports come from trade between African countries. However, the AfCFTA could increase intra-African trade by approximately 33% and reduce the continent’s trade deficit by 51%, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
In line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1, 2, 5, 8, and 12, the launch of Africa Exchange is a significant milestone towards achieving the AfCFTA. The platform promotes fair market prices that help farmers earn more and increase food production. It also enables investors to diversify their portfolios while supporting the financing of the food ecosystem.
Commenting on the launch, Akinyinka Akintunde, CEO and President of AFEX Nigeria, said: “As a team, we are excited and proud to launch Africa Exchange as another step in building the digital infrastructure to facilitate trade across Africa. With this launch, our goal is to boost the commodities market in Africa and allow more investors to participate with all the information that they need at their fingertips”.
He continues, “Commodities have been high-performing assets in recent years; in 2021, commodities were the third highest performing asset class, averaging about 37.1% in returns, while stocks averaged about 36.9%.
The commodities market has grown in sophistication over the years with the likes of commodity brokers and other institutional players making their mark and creating opportunities for trading. With Africa Exchange, we are opening the African commodities ecosystem to more investors and players.
Through the platform, users can directly trade physical commodities or invest in commodity-backed financial instruments.”
Alongside the platform launch, AFEX is also reintroducing its innovative Fair Trade ETC (FETC) product. The FETC is a commodity bundle in one contract designed to provide investors with exposure to the market in a way that maximizes the risk-return balance of the underlying commodities.
The instrument has a maturity period of 270 days and historically significant returns, with both tranches in 2022 returning 31% and 20%, respectively. The FETC is set to open on the Africa Exchange platform on the 1st of December at a unit price of just N1000, and for the first time in the product’s history, it will be tradeable within the tenor period, after a 120-day hold.
Funto Olasemo, Vice President, Financial Markets at AFEX, said, ‘For the last 8 months, we have been focused on improving our core infrastructure and delivering a better digital interface for commodities trading and investment on the continent. We have continued to also pursue product innovation, and the new tranche of our FETC product is a great example of that.”
“The FETC has been a hugely successful product since we introduced it in 2020, and we have structured a tradeable component into this tranche, giving investors even more freedom as they build wealth. The team is excited that we are facilitating wealth creation for a new generation of Africans by providing them with alternative investment options to enrich their portfolios.”
AFEX is committed to improving intra-African trade. To achieve this goal, the company has been bullish in pursuing its strategic Pan-African expansion plan since expanding into Kenya and Uganda in 2021 and 2022.
AFEX is set to expand to six other African countries within the next few years with the aim of promoting efficient trade in commodities across the continent while supporting the objectives of the AFCFTA to boost regional trade integration.
NCAA Suspends All Wet-leased Aircraft in United Nigeria Airlines
The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has suspended all the wet-leased aircraft in the operations of United Nigeria Airlines (UNA). The suspension may not be unconnected with the diversion of the Abuja-bound flight from Lagos to Asaba Airport on Sunday by the cabin crew of the airline.
A source close to the agency, confided in our correspondent on Monday that the regulatory body took the decisive action after an emergency meeting held at its headquarters in Abuja.
It was learnt that at the meeting, the NCAA inspectors were not convinced about the claim of the airline that its crew diverted to Asaba due to bad weather at Abuja Airport.
Our correspondent learnt that all the wet-leased aircraft in its fleet would remain suspended until after the conclusion of the investigation into the incident.
This position, it was gathered has been communicated to the airline via a letter on Monday.
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