The Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX) signed a three year cooperation agreement with the New York University (NYU) on July 26th at the premises of the commodity exchange building. Bemnet Aschenaki, Chief Strategy Officer at ECX said the cooperation agreement will help on both sides through collaborative research conducted in three broad categories: impact evaluation, intermediation and market design and information flow research questions.
“The agreement helps us on ways to consume the data we have, what to do with it and in essence an opportunity for a trusted partner, a knowledge institute to do research and analysis on behalf of ECX or with it,” said Bemnet adding that it was important that a third party do an analysis as opposed to ECX to avoid issues which may emerge as conflict of interests.
However he didn’t specify the source of funding for the project or how much it’s going to cost, although he said studies are being undertaken to estimate the funds needed for the project as well as find sources of funding.
Yaw Nyarko, Professor of Economics at NYU and incoming president of the African Econometrics Association (AEA) said as a result of the agreement the university will be making Ethiopia its eastern Africa office, doing knowledge activities and other related issues.
“In addition to the research, he plans to be part of the knowledge activities of Ethiopia generally, but Addis Ababa and ECX in particular,” said Yaw adding that intellectuals from the university will be coming frequently for seminars, conferences, in addition to NYU students who will be interacting on various issues as well as helping junior members of ECX.
NYU is also planning to collaborate with various other institutions such as the Ethiopian Economics Association (EEA); with plans of an Africa wide conference in Addis with Addis Ababa University (AAU). It also visions to work in the area of Literature and contemporary arts in Addis Ababa.
Answering queries on why NYU chose ECX for research collaboration over other institutions in the region, Yaw said the commodity exchange has done something novel in Africa, and has done it successfully in just four years of existence, while many other countries have tried and failed.
The University also stated that it aims to have this partnership help it to spread out, do more things in Ethiopia and use it a spring board for involvement in the rest of the East African region.
Bemnet on a similar note said that ECX has a very long and strong relationship with the Addis Ababa University, especially with the AAU Commerce College during the design phase about five years ago when the whole idea of exchange started to develop; which took professors to India to become Trainees of Trainers.
“Since then we’ve been systematically working with universities in doing research and other different areas,” said Bemnet adding that particularly to this program there will be discussions with AAU and graduate students of the University.
New York University (NYU) is a private, nonsectarian American research university based in New York City. Founded in 1831, NYU is one of the largest private nonprofit institutions of American higher education.
NYU is organized into 18 schools, colleges, and institutes, located in six centers throughout Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn, areas of New York City as well as more than a dozen other sites across the world, with plans for further expansion.
It has overseas branches in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Accra, Ghana where Yaw hails from, London, the Spanish capital Madrid and the Czech Capital Prague with it being in a process of opening up a huge campus in China’s commercial hub Shanghai.