AFEX commodities exchange limited, an African leading commodities market player thriving in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector, has secured first place in the Financial Times ranking of Africa’s fasters growing companies in 2023. AFEX has grown by 505.3% over the past three years, making it Africa’s fastest-growing company in the current year. The annual listing, which is compiled by global business reporting newspaper, Financial Times (FT), in collaboration with the Statistics and Consumer Insights Platform, ranked the companies according to its Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR), between 2018 and 2021.
Established in 2014 as Nigeria’s first licensed private commodities exchange, AFEX helps the continent’s food security by operating over 200 warehouses in Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda and serving over 450,000 farmers and traded 526,850 metric tonnes of agro-commodities in the three countries. It also has plans to expand to nine African countries within the next 10 years to create regional markets that balance demand and supply through intra-Africa trade. Markets considered for expansion include Benin, Togo, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Zambia.
Through its strategic expansions, AFEX aims to address the low regional trade level, which currently stands at 14.4% compared to 59%, 69% and 30.4% in Asia, Europe and North America, respectively. By facilitating cross-border trade in Africa, AFEX looks to increase regional trade volume, improving capacity to meet the demand of Africa’s growing population. Since its launch in Kenya in 2022, AFEX Fair Trade Limited has committed to leveling-up Africa’s agro-tech sector in the East African market. It presently has 21 warehouses in Kenya and Uganda with over 22,000 Megatonnes (Mt) capacity.
In February 2023, AFEX Fair Trade Limited was licensed as the first Private Warehouse Receipt Operator in Kenya and has since financed over 10,000 farmers in the East African region. The Managing Director, AFEX Fair Trade Limited Kenya, Tabitha Njuguna, while reacting to the recognition said, “Being recognised as the fastest growing African company soon after our expansion into Kenya and Uganda is a fantastic boost, as we continue to solidify our team and impact farmers in the East African market. AFEX Fair Trade Limited aims to impact 100,000 farmers in Kenya and 20,000 farmers in Uganda, whilst driving over 200,000 metric tonnes of commodities traded by 2025 to support East Africa’s food security by promoting a fair exchange of value among players.
On the other hand, 41-year-old leading consumer goods company and omni channel retailer, FoodCo Nigeria, has been listed among Africa’s Fastest Growing Companies for the second year running. According to reports, FoodCo was the only modern retail player among the 26 Nigerian companies featured. Speaking on the listing, the Chief Executive Officer, FoodCo, Ade Sun-Basorun, thanked the Financial Times for the recognition. He also expressed appreciation to FoodCo staff and customers for their support in helping the company actualise its potentials. He said: “For us, times like these call for sober reflection given our humble beginning as a small corner shop to where we are today as a Top 5 retailer in Nigeria.
“The FoodCo journey has always been marked by a passion for what we do, commitment to our stakeholders, and a firm dedication to nurturing the growth and potentials of the Nigerian retail sector. We are grateful to all our staff for their hard work towards making us the fastest growing retail company in Nigeria. We are also thankful for the loyalty of our customers, who have kept faith with the FoodCo brand for all of our 41 years. We pledge to continue to do our best to live up to the trust conferred on us”, he added.
In 2022, FoodCo was also recognised as Africa’s second fastest growing retail company by the Financial Times. It was adjudged the Retailer of the Year for two consecutive years at the BusinessDay Nigerian Business Leadership Awards (2020 and 2021). It also won the award for 2020 Retailer of the Year at the Marketing Edge Brands And Advertising Excellence Awards. The company ranks among the Top 5 supermarket chain brands in Nigeria.
Established in 1982 as a fresh fruits and vegetables store, FoodCo had evolved over the years into a diversified consumer goods company with interests in retail, quick service restaurants, manufacturing and entertainment. The company currently operates the largest supermarket chain brand in Southwest Nigeria outside Lagos with over 18 outlets spread across Oyo, Lagos and Ogun states. During its 40th anniversary in 2022, FoodCo had unveiled its Retail Leadership Programme, which is designed to provide participants with the job knowledge and hands-on experience they need to succeed in their retail careers as well as make positive impact in their communities.