Dr. Eleni Gabre-Madhin, a Stanford economics PhD who left her World Bank position and returned to Ethiopia in 2004 to put her faith in markets into practice. She persuaded the government to launch the Ethiopian Commodities Exchange, ECX, to establish transparent and reliable markets for the benefit of farmers, traders and exporters. As a researcher for the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), she studied agricultural markets in her native country for several years
Eleni received several international recognitions and awards in the past years for the achievement. She received the American Outstanding Dissertation Award in Agricultural Economics in 1999 and the 2012 Yara Prize at the African Green Revolutions Forum held at Arusha Tanzania on September 27
ECX began in late 2008 in several grains, and was expanded to include coffee in the spring of 2009 because of a troubled coffee market. Since coffee has long been Ethiopia’s biggest export, the government intervened to force ECX to accelerate its entry into coffee trading.