Africa’s Green Revolutionary: Eleni Gabre-Madhin, CEO Ethiopia Commodity Exchange

Eleni Gabre-Madhin, founder and outgoing CEO of the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX). (Ventures Africa)

Ventures Africa

VENTURES AFRICA – Dr Eleni Gabre-Madhin, an Ethiopian economist and founder and outgoing CEO of the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX), is an African woman who saw in need, a powerful opportunity. Using her training as an economist and researcher, she has facilitated Ethiopia’s Green Revolution, putting the country on the map as a food producer.

“In 1984–85, the year of the famine that killed nearly a million Ethiopians, I was an undergraduate at Cornell. At dinner one night, other students started throwing food. And suddenly—shocking myself—I got up on a chair and I screamed, “Stop doing this! In my country people are starving!” In that moment, I knew that I owed my country something.”

Yet Eleni did not return to her home country for the next 20 years. Instead she pursued her education, graduating with Bachelors and Master’s degrees in Economics from Cornell University and Michigan State University, USA, respectively. She received a Ph.D. in Applied Economics from Stanford University (also in the US) and went on to hold a variety of senior positions in leading economic organisations.

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