A performing market information system (MIS) is a key accompanying measure to market liberalization. The paper discusses the objectives and purposes of a MIS, its ideal characteristics and its concept and implementation, based on experiences with the cocoa and coffee MIS set up and presently operating in three liberalized African export commodity markets. A phased approach is suggested, with each phase being well defined and launched sequentially. The timing and location of the MIS unit, the dissemination strategy and the financing are discussed. An appropriate dissemination strategy is of vital importance to reach all intended beneficiaries.