"Ethiopia is a country you can do business with"

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    Dr Eleni Gabre-Madhin, CEO of the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX) , at the company's headquarters in Addis Ababa. Dr Eleni is proud of the ECX's record – in the three years since it was established, it has enabled more than £1 billion worth of trades, without a single default. It has also protected farmers from being ripped off.

    "Before the ECX, buyers might make a deal, but never pay," says Dr Gabre-Madhin. "Sellers might provide bags half filled with coffee, half filled with sand. Now everyone can trust the market, and they know exactly what they are getting. This is a big signal to the world: Ethiopia is a country you can do business with."

    DFID supported two leading research institutes who were tasked with finding a solution to Ethiopia's inefficient food and commodity markets.

    The UK aid funded research recommended setting up a commodity exchange and helped to design the warehousing, logistics and payment systems that the exchange uses today. The exchange helps to boost exports and secure a better deal for farmers and consumers.

    More information: www.dfid.gov.uk/ecx

    Photo: Pete Lewis/Department for International Development

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