NYUAD Professor of Economics and Director of NYUAD's Center for Technology and Economic Development (CTED) Yaw Nyarko signed a three-year collaborative research partnership agreement between NYU's Development Research Institute (DRI) and the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX) to evaluate the impact of the four-year-old exchange and to develop improved systems and information flow.
The agreement will enable CTED researchers to gain privileged access to information from the ECX for data analysis and research, and will support capacity building efforts with ECX both in Addis Ababa and in Abu Dhabi through academic conferences and seminars. Research topics will consider the role of technology in customer communications and dissemination of information, and the ECX market design, with the aim to contribute to the growth and improved efficiency of the ECX platform.
As reported by Ethiopian newspaper CAPITAL, Bemnet Aschenaki, chief strategy officer at ECX, said: "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."
Through the partnership with ECX, researchers at NYU's DRI and NYUAD's CTED will establish a base in Ethiopia for their Eastern African activities.
Nyarko said that this kind of research will not only support the development of the ECX, but will also help create a knowledge framework for the establishment of similar market exchange platforms in other parts of the developing world.
"Our research will determine how commodity markets improve the lives of small farm owners in poor countries and how this in turn is important for food security," Nyarko said. "The research will develop new technology tools, particularly via the mobile phone, to improve the access of rural farmers to both the markets themselves and to information on farming techniques that will revolutionize their approach to agriculture."